Michael Gould, associate professor jazz and contemporary improvisation, was one of five University of Michigan faculty members to be named a winner of the fifth annual Provost's Teaching Innovation Prize (TIP). The award is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT), and the U-M Library. A faculty committee selected the winning TIP projects from 67 nominated by students, staff and faculty peers. The awards will be presented on May 6 at 10 a.m. at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater in the Michigan League.
"The five creative projects developed by faculty demonstrate effective ways to inspire students and engage them in learning," Provost Phil Hanlon said. "The collection of innovative teaching projects that faculty are pursuing across the university is impressive."
Gould's project, titled "The Drum Diaries: Inspiring and Integrating Exploration and Practice," provides access to vast collections of audio and visual music recordings through one technological device. Digital tablets now offer opportunities to surpass the predominant format typically available to new players of instruments-the method book plus CD. With the Drum Diaries iBook loaded on an iPad propped on a music stand, a student can quickly switch from reading, seeing or hearing to playing along or improvising. Music methodology, technique, styles and history all can be integrated with examples, practice tips and hyperlinks.
Gould's work heading percussion clinics and master classes, as well as online drum lessons inform the instruction. Skype clinics with external students who have been immersed in the Drum Diaries have shown that these students master material much more rapidly and ask more penetrating questions about specific techniques or styles than students who have worked only with printed method books.
"The curriculum of Drum Diaries provides a new and different challenge each day, with the goal of kick-starting one's own creative process," one student wrote.