REBECCA M. RINSEMA
I am Assistant Professor in the School of Music at Northern Arizona University. My research projects engage with digital music technologies, ecological views of perception, popular music, and pedagogy. I am motivated by understanding the social impacts of music listening and music making and promoting positive social impacts as they present themselves. The social impacts of music that I am particularly interested in relate to the adolescent stage of human development. I teach general music classes on rock and popular music, primarily to first and second year undergraduates. I aim to develop their understanding of how the music they listen to (in all its digital forms and contexts) reflects who they are and impacts their lives. My main objective is to give them tools to understand these processes so that they can experience music in ways that are beneficial to them as members of diverse local and global communities. In short, I’m interested in helping students see how popular music is meaningful to them and others, across social, political and ethical dimensions. This way of exploring music stems directly from the phenomenon of music itself. As trailblazing musicologist Susan McClary pointed out, there is something inherently ‘we’ about music, and that ‘we-ness’ is palpable in the sounds themselves as well as the ways in which people engage with them.
In my book Listening in Action: Teaching Music in the Digital Age (Routledge, 2017), I describe digital music listening experiences through an interview-based study and make recommendations for how music educators can respond to the current postperformance musical soundscape. The book is reviewed in the AMS Journal of Music History Pedagogy by Christopher J. Witulski.
Popular Music and Meaning in the Classroom, a follow-up book to Listening in Action, is under contract with Routledge. Check out a recent conversation about the follow-up book here, supported by IASPM-US, PopCon, and Journal of Popular Music Studies.
I am also a singer, specialising in early music performance. Most recently I performed the soprano roles in Bach's 'Ein Feste Burg' and Pergolesi's 'Stabat Mater.' I play the flute, piano, and guitar; at present these skills are most often used to record and produce indie rock albums with my 10-year-old son.
recent and upcoming events
Workshop. Tuning into the Sonic Commons with an ‘Ear’ toward Equity and Diversity. European Association for Music in Schools. Freiburg University of Music, Freiburg, Germany, March, 2021.
Paper. Interpretation as Creativity: Sound and Meaning in the Classroom. Desert Skies Symposium, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. February 2021.
Paper. Interpretation as Creativity: Sound and Meaning in the Classroom. Suncoast Music Education Symposium, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL January, 2021.
Paper. The Politics of Coming of Age: Nostalgia for Innocence in Youth Music. Pop Con, Museum of Pop, Seattle, Washington/Virtual, September, 2020. https://www.mopop.org//programs-plus-education/programs/pop-conference/
Book Workshop. Popular Music and Meaning in the Classroom. Popular Music Books in Process Series. IASPM-US, PopCon, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Virtual, August, 2020. https://iaspm-us.net/journal-of-popular-music-studies/books-in-process-series/
Panel. (Re)hearing music education through the senses – Cross-disciplinary Creative Critical Approaches to Sound and Listening. International Society of Music Education. Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland, August, 2020. [Cancelled--COVID]
Workshop. Tuning into the Sonic Commons with an ‘Ear’ toward Equity and Diversity. International
Society of Music Education. Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland, August, 2020. [Cancelled--COVID]
Paper. The Politics of Coming of Age: Nostalgia for Innocence in Youth Music. Pop Con, Museum of Pop, Seattle, Washington, April, 2020. [Rescheduled-COVID]
Paper. The Politics of Coming of Age: Nostalgia for Innocence in Youth Music. CMS-Southwest Pacific, Northern Arizona University, March, 2020.
Paper. Toward an Ecological View of Musical Creativity. College Music Society International Conference. Brussels, Belgium, July, 2019.
Paper. The Politics of Coming of Age: Nostalgia for Innocence in Millennial Music. International Society for Popular Music-US (IASPM-US), New Orleans, LA. March 2019
Paper. Towards an Expansion of Music Literacy: How to Explore ‘Meaning’ in the Music Classroom. Mayday Symposium, 2019. Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland. July 2019.
Paper. Nostalgia, Wellbeing, and Ethical Considerations for Teaching Popular Music in the Digital Age. University of Wisconsin, Madison, February 2019.