Kent Cleland - Music
Associate Professor of Music Theory
Music Theory, History and Literature, and Composition
Ph.D., University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music; M.L.S., Duke University; M.M., Indiana University School of Music; B.M., Ohio University School of Music.
What have you learned while teaching at B-W?:
I have learned that most of the time my students have the knowledge they need. They just need some help figuring out how to find it and make it useful to them.
What inspired you to get into college teaching?:
1) My struggles as a student. I did well in college, but I always felt like I had to work harder and more intelligently than my classmates with stronger backgrounds.
2) My love of the subject. Music theory is such a fascinating combination of art, science, and performance skill. There’s never a dull moment.
Describe the ways in which you mentor students interested in your department:
I give students as much exposure as possible to the different facets of the field—teaching, research, criticism, commentary, and performance. Also, I try to give them skills that they will need to be successful musicians as well as to start a lifelong fascination with and love of music as a system and a conveyor of stories.
If you weren't teaching what would you be doing?:
I would probably work as an arts administrator while freelancing as a performer.
What do students like best about your class?:
I tend to teach very difficult subjects. I usually don’t see recognition of what students got from the class until they’ve gone to graduate school or the performance world and they realize they are much better prepared than many of their colleagues, and that they owe some of it to the strange and wacky things I asked them to do five years ago. That’s when I receive the letters, cards, and emails finally thanking me for not giving in when they complained.