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Graduation stories – inspiring accessible music

16 September 2015

Amy Moar - web 1

Amy Moar is a gifted musician who chose to work with community choirs for her Honours project – teaching them to perform difficult music, inspired by how she positively overcame the challenges of her blindness.

She wondered how community choirs, whose members come from all sorts of different backgrounds and who bring a real mixture of musical abilities, might be challenged to engage with new and unfamiliar musical styles.

Amy explored how engaging methods of teaching could be used to introduce choirs to new repertoire well outside their comfort zones.

What did your project with community choirs involve?

“I researched choral teaching methods through reading about and observing experts in the field. I then chose a basic and then a more detailed method to instruct a small community choir in singing two madrigals.

“I was examining the choir’s personal reception of the songs through these teaching practices.”

How exciting was it to help these choirs perform works they might have considered beyond their skills?

“I did have butterflies, especially in the first session. I was more comfortable once we got underway and I felt the choir’s enthusiasm for the topic.”

Amy Moar - web 2

How important has music, and performing, been in your life?

“It’s been very important in my life. I have been fortunate to have some natural talent. Added to that my family are quite musical and have given me lots of opportunities. I have been lucky enough to have great music teachers too.”

What's been the best part about studying at Abertay?

“Abertay is so well laid out. For someone like me who has difficulty getting around, the layout of the university is perfect and all the staff are really friendly and helpful.

“I attended the Mindfulness course run by Trisha Williams in the Counselling Service which gave me skills for managing stress in my Honours year. This was very beneficial and is free to all students.”

Do you have a message for students starting at Abertay this year?

“Ask for help if you have any questions and you will be given answers and support. That has certainly been my experience. I hope you all enjoy Abertay as much as I have.”

To find out more about studying at Abertay, please visit the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games courses page.

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