What do you get it you put a load of drummers in a castle? The 2022 International Drum Studies Conference at Boston University of course - which took place in the university's Castle (pictured)! I’ve been in Boston for the last few days attending the conference and gave a paper on decolonising drum curriculum. The conference sought to highlight the innovations taking place in drum studies, pedagogy and performance right now and attracted a truly international crowd with delegates from Sao Paolo to Bremen. Thanks to all the drummers who attended and presented on such interesting subjects and, most of all, to Gareth Dylan Smith and Virginia Davis for hosting the event so superbly. Boston was lovely to walk around in the sun with private study in the Boston public library (pictured) followed by bubble tea with Nancy Zeltsman particular highlights!
It’s been a busy few weeks in my world of academia as the Boston trip came off the back of a exciting trip to Liverpool to present at the IASPM conference at Liverpool University. Another stellar set of scholars and presenters delivered papers at this conference, broadly around the provocation of ‘Challenge and Change in Popular Music
https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/music/events/iaspm/programme/ . I spoke about, and extended, a book chapter I wrote which was recently published. I sought to outline how tenets of Critical Pedagogy could be applied to the Music Theory pedagogy in a Popular Music context and explain why this might be particularly important at this time.
As I currently look across the Boston Logan Airport forecourt, I’m ready to travel back to the UK. It’s ‘back to school’ very soon but I’m feeling intellectually enriched and (somewhat) ready. Thanks to all the institutions that run these events and, especially, Leeds Arts University who continue to support my research activity.