Proposals Now Being Accepted for AY2024-25 Learning Communities.

Submit your proposal for a AY2024-25 Learning Community!

Faculty learning communities are defined as “cross-disciplinary faculty and staff group of 6-15 members that engage in ‘an active, collaborative, yearlong program with a curriculum about enhancing teaching and learning and with frequent seminars and activities that provide learning, development, the scholarship of teaching, and community building’” (Newman, 2017, p. 428).

At Peabody, the Learning Innovation team provides the frameworks and financial and structural supports for faculty to initiate, participate in, and report out of learning communities. These communities are provided platforms to share their findings, outcomes, and recommendations with both their peers and leadership, with the goal of improving the teaching and learning experience across the institution in a variety of ways.

Community Guidelines

A faculty learning community eligible for funding includes some or all of the following:

  • One faculty Chair and one faculty Co-Chair.
  • Members from two or more faculty departments representing both the Conservatory and the Preparatory. Communities with a single department discussing topics unique to that department will also be considered.
  • One or more graduate or doctoral student representatives.
  • Selection of a topic with the potential to impact teaching and learning at Peabody in ways both impactful and relevant to the Breakthrough Plan.

Funding up to $1250 per learning community per year will cover purchases for educational purposes, including but not limited to materials (books, research materials, etc.) and guest speaker stipends.

Chair Responsibilities

Each learning community should have one Chair and one Co-Chair to administer the community and keep it on track. Chairs and Co-Chairs of a learning community will:

  • Lead 5 or more conversations with community members per academic year,
  • Work to guarantee attendance and engagement among the community,
  • Suggest, provide, and secure materials and guest speakers utilizing the community’s allocated budget,
  • Administer and encourage participation in the community’s topic channel within the “Peabody Learning Communities” Microsoft Team.
  • Present findings at the end of the academic year via a minimum 1-page report and a 20-minute presentation to peers, and
  • Each receive one $750 stipend each in addition to the learning community’s budget, upon completion of deliverables at the conclusion of the academic year.

AY2023-24 Learning Communities

Performing Arts and Health Research

Chairs: Kris Chesky and Sarah Hoover
Kris CheskySarah HooverAs Peabody welcomes its first Bloomberg Distinguished Professor Dr. Kris Chesky as well as a team of postdoctoral fellows in a new research initiative, we’d like to invite Peabody faculty, staff, and students to get involved through participating in a learning community to explore/engage in inter- and trans-disciplinary research at the intersection of music/dance and health. Activities will be tailored to participants’ interests and may include a journal club, sharing research projects and research opportunities, and support for research studies underway, among others. We welcome veteran and novice researchers, as well as those curious to learn more and understand how research could translate into pedagogy and performance at Peabody.

Facilitating Conversations about Arts, Ethics, and Justice

Chairs: Elizabeth Futral and Anicia Timberlake
Elizabeth FutralAnicia Timberlake

We use principles of “non-violent” or “compassionate” communication to practice facilitating difficult conversations with students. This form of communication focuses on using empathy to identify shared needs and from there developing strategies to meet others’ needs, instead of immediately launching into debate. The bulk of our work includes role-playing situations drawn from participants’ own experiences. Topics are varied and respond to faculty needs: boundary-setting, counseling and mentoring, microaggressions, arts and justice, etc.

Past participants have expressed surprise, relief, and optimism upon receiving some new tools to better communicate with both students and colleagues/administration going forward.  A participant can expect to be given the opportunity to learn new communication tools and practice them in a safe environment in order to engage with students and colleagues in more mutually beneficial ways.

We will meet on Wednesdays at 12:30 PM on Sept 20, Oct 4, Oct 25, Nov 8, and Nov 29, with Spring dates to be announced later.

All are welcome!

Sound Studies and Sonic/Media Arts

Chair: Lyn Goeringer and Bryan Jacobs
Headshot of Lyn GoeringerHeadshot of Bryan JacobsWe invite practitioners and scholars from Peabody and the broader Johns Hopkins community whose research intersects and engage in Sound Studies and Sonic/Media Arts. Though we intend to allow a broad interpretation for these fields, we are looking more specifically at Sound Studies as a field of research that theorizes and engages with sound from a cultural and phenomenological standpoint, with Sonic and Media Arts as a stage where these concepts are explored for more public audiences.

Over the last twenty years, sound studies has become a major component in musicological and media studies discourse around electronic music, sonic arts/sound art, and new media practices. For many, this has become a critical framework from which new music, sound art works are created, and informs daily practice within the field. For researchers, this framework has allowed new methods of analysis and critique so that we can better investigate contemporary sonic practices and their cultural impact.

Teaching International Students: Pedagogical Issues/Strategies and Overall Experiences

Chair: Ahlam Musa
Ahlam MusaSince international students constitute over 30% of the Peabody student body, it is imperative that their needs are met in and outside the classroom. This PLC focuses on improving the experience of international students at Peabody by understanding their needs and addressing teaching issues as well as providing opportunities for linguistic and cultural enrichment. Sample topics may include the following: teaching non-native speakers of English, bridging differences and capitalizing on prior knowledge, assessment challenges, and course design that engages students’ background and prior knowledge.

Technology in Piano Instruction

Chair: Agustin Muriago
This community explores technology resources that enhance piano instruction, analyzing its effectiveness in classroom and private lesson settings. The goal is to create a space where members can share their experiences, learn from one another, and interact with guest speakers who are using technology in innovative ways.


Proposals Now Being Accepted for AY2024-25 Learning Communities!

Any faculty in the Conservatory or Preparatory can propose a learning community for the upcoming academic year. Up to five communities will be selected for funding.

Submit your proposal for a AY2024-25 Learning Community!