Visit to China Summer 2008 - Music Department

Ohlone faculty members Dennis Keller and Tim Roberts spent two weeks of the summer of 2008 in Hangzhou, China, as part of an Arts exchange program between Ohlone College and the Zhejiang Vocational Academy of Art. They led workshops on Opera, Jazz Improv, Spirituals and Pop styles, as well as presenting academic lectures on Broadway History, the African Diaspora, and Motown.

Zhejiang Academy specializes in Western classical music as well as Chinese traditional music. Jazz and Commercial music, however, as creations of 20th-Century Western popular culture, are looked at with some anxiety by the Chinese musical Establishment. Dennis and Tim were honored to have the opportunity to share a bit of America with the Chinese, and we at Ohlone look forward to an ongoing exchange of musical inspiration.

What the Academy Said…

On June 30, 2008 an article was published in the Zheijiang Vocational Academy of Art Newspaper.

Text of the article translated to English:

As Stones from Other Hills May Serve to Polish the Jade of this Mountain—Experiencing the style of teaching Art from Ohlone College

Professors Robert[s] and Keller, from Ohlone College, came to our school to interchange teaching. Our music department launched two-week classes. Students as well as teachers were sincerely asked for advice. They all felt that they received American's Art teaching style and culture and benefited a lot.

The two professors offered courses: Jazz Improvisation, Western Opera, East vs. West Instrument, Broadway Music, African-American Religion Music, and Contemporary Music Appreciation. They also taught a Master Class. Within these two week courses, our music department students and faculty obtained new knowledge. Fellow students felt that Robert[s] was humorous and had lots of interaction with students in his classes. Every time when he mentioned music, he was full of energy. It seems like he lives for music. Keller was to teach by personal example as well as verbal instruction. He trained our music teachers and coached the master class for vocal practice, art songs, and opera.

Ohlone and Zhe Jiang became sister school in 2007. Teacher Huang visited Ohlone and was very impressed about Ohlone as a community college.

On the 18th after noon, music department's faculty had a meeting with two professors. We discussed different methods of teaching music; we probed how modern music influences music education.

Both professors were very knowledgeable. When they teach, they use various forms. They are very lively and very infectious. They used vocal and acoustics to help us understand the elements in music. They especially emphasize on performances. Compare to our way of teaching art, we have less variations and too easy.

Both professors' fields are different. Robert[s] is focuses on current music teaching; Keller concentrates on vocal and chorus. However, they both emphasize that music is part of culture. Even though the techniques of expression forms are different, their connotations are the same. No matter tradition or fashion music.

Teacher Huang thought that first, two professors brought to us abundant of musical concepts, history, and cultures that we were not familiar with. Their music data and media are especially rich. When they showed their multi-media, students could be able to feel and understand it promptly. Second, their ways of teaching were animated; their reactions in the class were ingenious and inspired. When they taught, they were full of energy and humor and were atracted by students. Third, as a musician both of them are indeed having wonderful attainments and embodied in their teaching, performance, and creativity.

Art has no boundary, as we constantly learn, we will improve and innovate.

Skip plugin info.

Apple Quicktime (free) is required to play the videos and/or audio on this page.