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Earth, Water, Science, and Song
Art-Science Fusion class profiled

April 7, 2014

“Earth, Water, Science, and Song,” a Science and Society course, is described in a California Aggie article on March 13. The class connects the arts with the sciences, teaching students environmental science while they also learn how to write music and create songs. Ethnomusicology graduate student Sarah Messbauer was the Teaching Assistant for SAS 42 during Winter Quarter 2014. 

Wendy Silk, Professor Emeritus of Land, Air and Water Resources, co-founded the class with a former graduate student. According to the Aggie article, Professor Silk has a passion for music and science, but has found that students often think of music as simplistic, when it’s really just as complex as science. By putting the two subjects side-by-side in the same course, she hoped that  students would see the similarities between the two, and that they would reap the benefits of mixing these disciplines.

Third-year ethnomusicology graduate student and SAS 42 teaching assistant, Sarah Messbauer, also has a passion for science and wants to encourage students to venture outside of their comfort zone with this course.

It’s really important to work across disciplines and learn how to think outside of the box no matter what field you’re in. Life isn’t in these neat little categories, life is all mixed up, so the more that you’re able to make connections across fields, the better off you’ll be in life.

—Sarah Messbauer

The final project showcase for the course took place on March 14 in the Nelson Gallery. This performance showcased the songs the students created to reflect the science they have learned. Read more about the class in the Aggie article, “Earth, Water, Science and Song.”

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