A Sound Investment
Music composer and Professor Allen Anderson’s favorite teaching moments are embedded in sound.
“It is the point when the students have just discovered the notes they have been working with and the way in which they are using them. Even hearing when things go wrong,” Anderson said, “is an inspired educational experience.” Anderson was a D. Earl Pardue Fellow in Fall 2000 and a James Gilmore Fletcher Whitton/Creative Campus Fellow in Spring 2013. He will serve as chair of the Music Department in Spring 2018. Taking leave to focus on research and creative work is an important part of the academic career. This is a challenge even for tenured faculty at top-tier research universities such as UNC. “Faculty have devoted a good portion of their lives to teaching young people,” Anderson said. “As much as we get from that, we do need time once in a while to be immersed in composing. I need to be fully addressing my work.”
“Any leave is good for that, but the Faculty Fellowship is particularly important because once a week you are going to be in a room with a group of really smart people. In a context where you are talking to your peers but you’re not talking to your professional peers. They may not know anything about modern music composition.” That opportunity has pushed him in his music composition and teaching. Most recently, his students have collaborated with those in the UNC School of Media and Journalism to write music for films. They have written original work for vocal students and will also write for high-level piano students.