Join music department for a talk April 12

The Department of Music will host Vanessa L. Bond, associate professor and graduate coordinator of music education at Rowan University, for a talk titled “Musical Possibilities in the Theory of Loose Parts” Friday, April 12, from 4 to 5 p.m. in Harkness Chapel.

About the talk

In 1971, painter and sculptor Simon Nicholson wrote an influential essay in which he chastised the notion of creativity belonging to the talented few and outlined a theory of design that would foster children’s innate propensity to experiment. Proclaimed as his “theory of loose parts,” Nicholson proposed that “in any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it.”

With both material and philosophical potential, loose parts play can encourage flexibility, divergence, and responsivity. Loose parts can inspire new thinking about the closed nature of academic structures and curricula, and be used as a tool for pushing back against comfortable yet fixed forms. In this discussion, Bond will describe the theory of loose parts and explore the possibility for openings when adapting a loose parts mindset in music, art, and teaching

About the speaker

Dr. Vanessa L. Bond is Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator of Music Education at Rowan University where she specializes in general, vocal, and early childhood music education.

Prior to her appointment at Rowan, Dr. Bond was Associate Professor of Music Education at University of Hartford’s The Hartt School. In her research and professional development offerings, Bond focuses on intersections of music education and the Reggio Emilia approach, culturally responsive music education, and mentoring. She has presented this work at conferences throughout the United States and abroad and has published research in the Journal of Research in Music Education, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Early Childhood Education Journal, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education and other music education journals.

She is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Music Teacher Education and serves on the editorial board of the Early Childhood Education Journal. A frequent clinician, she has provided workshops for schools, libraries, and arts organizations—including the Cleveland Orchestra—and worked with honor choirs at the county, regional, and state levels. Previously, she taught elementary general/vocal music in Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools and was the Education Director and faculty member of the Connecticut Children’s Choir.