Enhancements    

Dena Jones

 
436
Fox Fine Arts Center
El Paso Texas, 79968
Homedkjones@utep.edu
Phone Logo(915) 747-6625
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Curriculum Vitae

CENTERS AND COMMUNITIES

None
Dena Jones
Associate Professor, Music
Undergraduate Coordinator, UTEP Piano Area

My research and creative activities fall into three main categories: I) performer of solo piano repertoire, II) performer of chamber music and III) writer/lecturer on music history. As professor primarily of applied studies, my research and creative activities find their ?publications? on the performance stage and/or lecture venues. The third category has had an interesting development?unique to my situation in El Paso?and is explained in further detail below. In contrast, the first two categories are typical for anybody in my position as Assistant Professor of Piano at any university ? this is ?what we do.? However, I would like to share why it is that I do these things.

By focusing my research on select programs of either solo or chamber music, I continue to develop my art as a pianist. Playing an instrument at a professional level requires persistent attention, and these programs literally advance both my musical and technical skills as a performer. I still hunger for expanding my own performance knowledge of the amazing repertoire written for the piano, and my approach of studying the music (which always contains further investigation of the cultural and historical roots of the work in addition to solidifying my understanding of musical content, comprehending theoretical structures, implementing my own personal interpretations and conquering technique requirements) inevitably leads me to more references about the composer and to listening to more recordings made by great pianists. My research commands a unique interpretation of music that no other pianist in the world holds.

In addition to feeding a constant requirement for necessary self-improvement (as someone once said about musicians, ?You?re only as good as your last performance??), this research makes me a better professor of piano. I know how to explain concepts to students because I myself have learned them and continue to ?re-learn? them. I am able to make connections to the composers and their works because I have read and I have listened. I also have carried that information to the keyboard. I can assist a student who does not yet have the developed technical tools at his or her disposal?implementing weight transference, employing virtuosic techniques, controlling detailed voicings or executing efficient and clear pedalings?because I myself have studied and conquered these advanced concepts of playing the piano. I am a better teacher because of my research.

Lastly, these creative activities bring the music from behind the closed doors of the practice and teaching rooms out into the public. Perhaps the greatest thrill of all is being able to share my select, musical art with audience members. It is unlike any other experience of that I can compare: it combines the three types of neuro-linguistic programming?visual, aural and kinesthetic modes?all in real time. Audience members are ?invited in? to share these experiences and the instantaneous communication that occurs between performer and listener is exhilarating. Throughout my tenure at UTEP, my research has been presented to thousands of people.

KEYWORDS

  1. Chamber
  2. Ethnomusicology
  3. Music
  4. Music History
  5. Piano
  6. Piano literature

UTEP STRATEGIC AREAS

  1. Education for the 21st Century Demographic
  2. Other