National Teaching Fellow 2012
Steve Stanton joined City University in 1977. He has led curriculum innovation within the Music Department and, via his validation role, has influenced the direction of degree courses at several internationally-renowned conservatoires.
As an ethnomusicologist, and during his 30 years as undergraduate programme director, he established a course which adopts a global attitude to music, including the study of oriental and Asian classical traditions as well as the folk and popular musics of the world, thereby offering students challenging perspectives on the world of sound.
Steve’s teaching respects the musical values and identities of each student, acknowledging that every one of them will hear the same piece of music in their own unique way: unique because it is the accumulated previous musical experiences of each individual that informs the listening process. This allows Steve to shift the focus from the music itself to questions regarding the complex relationship between the students and the music to which they are listening, thereby placing them at the centre of the investigation and encouraging them to take ownership of the issues they encounter. As one student commented:
“Wonderful, thought-provoking lecture series. Excellent in all respects, it has given me a great deal to think about and that is my favourite place to be.”
Steve’s interdisciplinary approach is evident through his contributions to courses connected with City. He initiated the validation relationship with the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre, and contributed to the design of groundbreaking Masters and Research programmes.
Through his Dean of Validation role, Steve has developed a range of academic partnerships with other leading institutions including the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance and Arts Educational Schools.
His collaborative approach seeks to drive academic development, encourage innovative learning and teaching and, ultimately, place an unequivocal emphasis on students’ educational opportunities. As one external colleague commented about Steve’s leadership:
“One never doubts his intentions to recognise, promote and support excellence with heart, wit and a compassionate understanding of what it takes to be or to train creative artists.”
Photo by Ben Wright.
Professor of Music and Performing Arts, Dean of Validation
City University London