In addition to teaching and developing curriculum, his current academic focus is advancing the disciplines of the Quadrivium by bringing together leading voices in its renewal. Over the past years at New College, he has taught courses in Music, Geometry, Cosmology, Moral Philosophy, Poetics, and numerous electives such as The Art of Film, 20th-Century Literature, Spiritual Disciplines, Hospitality and Cooking, and the Quadrivium.
He has contributed to ten books, numerous publications and on-line sites, and is the author of Glory and Honor: The Music and Artistic Legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach. He earned his Masters in Music Composition at the University of Alabama. As an award-winning musician, he has released seven albums of his compositions of congregational psalms and hymns as well as a theatrical musical and film scores, and his hymns can be found in a dozen hymnals. His current project is a recording of original choral works.
Having taught for almost thirty years, he is a frequent speaker on music, the Quadrivium, arts, liturgy and worship and serves as Chief Musician and liturgist at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Franklin, TN. He, his wife, Sophia, and daughter, Eleanor, enjoy reading, cooking, taking walks and life in middle Tennessee.
Music as Memory: The Art and Science of Music
In the educational system of the Ancient Greeks and in the centuries following, music performed two different and distinct purposes. Broadly speaking in its first role, music acted as a transferring of story, identity, and culture by engagement with the Muses. The second role completed the four mathematical arts of the Quadrivium linking Arithmetic, Geometry, and Astronomy with Harmony. Both of these disciplines of music serve essential points of integration that bring the arts, sciences, language, history, and humanities into direct conversation and thus help to restore the beautiful tradition of the classical liberal arts.
Seeing Music: Engaging the Ideas of Sound and Harmony
Students respond well to the opportunity to see and discover ideas—especially abstract concepts. Through simple but effective demonstrations, students can learn about the nature of soundwaves, harmonics, and resonant frequencies that help bring the concepts of music to life. In return, this knowledge can transfer into their studies music history, music appreciation, theory, and vocal and instrumental practice. This approach gives non-professionals ways to talk about music beyond the purely subjective.