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Michael Gould to Deliver Harold Haugh Award Lecture and Recital

Apr 1, 2024 | Awards & Accolades, Faculty

Last year, Professor Michael Gould was named the recipient of the Harold Haugh Award, given for excellence in studio teaching. As part of the award guidelines, Gould will present a recital and lecture on April 6, 2024, at 7 p.m., in East Quad’s Keene Auditorium. The event, titled “25 Years of Teaching, 100 Digestible Tidbits of Knowledge,” references the momentous timing of this award. “One of the nicest things about winning the award,” Gould shared, “is that it coincides with my 25th year at Michigan and gives me a good excuse to try and contact all of my former students to see how they are doing, and if they want to participate in the recital.”

Founded in 1975 in honor of Haugh, a professor of music and leading oratorio soloist, the Harold Haugh Award is presented annually by SMTD to a faculty member in the department of composition, jazz & contemporary improvisation, organ, piano, strings, voice, or winds & percussion. Gould is a professor of music in the Department of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation and in the Residential College (RC), a living-learning community within the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. He also serves as director of the Center for World Performance Studies.

Michael Gould

At the recital, several current and former students will perform, along with Gould himself. In addition, Gould will offer pearls of wisdom that he has incorporated into his teaching over the years, such as “Learn how to take care of yourself and the music will get better” and “Prehab your body – drums never get lighter.” Performers at the recital will include Sabbatical Bob, a funk band consisting of SMTD alumni (and so named because it formed when Robert Hurst, associate professor in the Department of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation, was on sabbatical); the Ruckus, a funk band with current and former students; Kingfisher, a band featuring current and former students in the jazz and performing arts technology departments; and Erik Hall (BFA ’04, jazz studies, percussion), who will lead the audience in performing Steve Reich’s “Clapping Music,” a piece that involves no instruments beyond the human body.

Gould’s students in his RC course “Found Instruments” will also perform during the recital – some doing so for the first time in front of an audience – using instruments they’ve created. The recital will conclude with a song that will employ a twist on an improvisational method known as “trading fours”; the musicians – a pianist, a trumpet player, a drummer, and so on, will take turns improvising for four bars apiece. In this version, though, every drummer in the auditorium will be invited to participate in a rotating fashion, so when it’s the drummer’s turn, each time a different musician will take the drumsticks and improvise for those four measures. “It’s gonna be really fun,” Gould predicted. “We all just grab the same drumsticks and just kind of run in a circle.”

Gould, whose students call him “Drum Dad,” thinks studio teaching – which involves meeting with his students one-on-one every week – is split about 50/50 between teaching percussion and listening to and advising his students. “They just need to learn how to live,” he said. And when he sees how they choose to live their lives, whether it’s as a musician or in some other field, he knows all that time was well spent. “For me, the most satisfying thing is just seeing what all my former students are doing now. It’s amazing. They’re all over the planet, playing and teaching and doing other things. Seeing their successes is by far the most rewarding aspect of this great life in academia.”

Link to event details and livestreaming:

April 6 | 7:00 pm
Michael Gould: “25 Years of Teaching, 100 Digestible Tidbits of Knowledge”

Keene Auditorium, East Quad, 701 E. University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Free – no tickets required

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