School of Music News

FEATURED STORY: Following Your Bliss as a Researcher

Harry E. Price is the recipient of the 2018 NAfME Senior Researcher award.

Harry E. Price is the recipient of the 2018 NAfME Senior Researcher award.
FOR HARRY E. PRICE, the idea of pursuing a career in music wasn’t exactly in his family’s plans. “My family has always been in business,” says Price, who began playing trombone in seventh grade, and decided around 10th grade that his path lay in music. “I sat my parents down and said, ‘I know it’s not for you, but I’m interested in music and teaching.’ And my father said, ‘You choose what you love, because money isn’t the answer. You’ve got to pick something you care about.’”

The shift from perform-ing to music education happened thanks to a job Price took while putting himself through school. “I got a job assisting Michael Wagner, who was in charge of technology at the time. I also helped a couple of doctoral students who were doing dissertations, one of whom was Cornelia Yarbrough. Interestingly. I ended up studying with her in Syracuse.” Price, who is the former Academic Editor of NAfME’s Journal of Research in Music Education (JRME), and current professor of music and music education at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in music education, both from Florida State University in Tallahassee, and a doctorate in teacher preparation from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.

Harry E. Price is the recipient of the 2018 NAfME Senior Researcher award Kennesaw State.Price has been doing research for more than 35 years. He describes his passion this way: “It’s just stuff I’m interested in, stuff I wonder about. I go, ‘I wonder if...’ It’s just curiosity.” He has been working with colleague Steve Morrison on the effect of conducting regarding the perception of sound. “We did a study where we had different conductors conducting music, but we had the same performance. And we found that the effect of the conductor on people’s perception of the music was quite high. They rate the experience of the music on how expressive the conductor is.” Price also says that if people see a fancy conductor as opposed to a more placid one, the viewer’s perception is affected. “Plenty of conductors will say it doesn’t matter. I tend to believe research, and if I find research that is different from what I think, I change my thought because I believe in data.”

Price remarks that, “Joseph Campbell used to say, ‘Follow your bliss.’ And that’s what people should do. Find something you are excited about. Your dissertation is who you are going to be for at least five years, so people need to find something that excites them.”

Harry E. Price is the recipient of the 2018 NAfME Senior Researcher award-KSU.As a tip for researchers, Price recom-mends, “Don’t start with the answer, like, ‘I’m going to do research and prove that I’m right. You’ve got to be open to any possibility. There is a difference between a belief and a fact. Be open to all ideas and all information, not just the information that supports what you think the answer should be, because that’s death in research.”

By Lisa Ferber

KSU Composer Laurence Sherr Tours New Zealand for Sonata Premiere and Lectures


Kennesaw, GA (May 20, 2016)–– In April and May 2016, Dr. Laurence Sherr, Kennesaw State University School of Music Composer-in-Residence and Professor of Music, travelled to several cities in New Zealand and Australia for the Australasian premieres of his work Sonata for Cello and Piano–Mir zaynen do! (“We are here”). The premiered work integrates Holocaust songs from the partisans, ghettos, and camps with newly composed material.

Performances of Sherr’s sonata were held at St Andrew’s on The Terrace in Wellington, NZ, University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music in Hamilton, NZ, Dilworth School and Auckland Hebrew Congregation in Auckland, NZ, and the Nickson Room at the University of Queensland School of Music Brisbane, Australia.

In addition to these performances, Dr. Sherr’s visit also included several guest lecture presentations. Sherr’s lecture topics included “Remembering the Silenced Voices of Holocaust Song Creators: Weaving Songs of Resistance and Survival into a New Cello Sonata,” “Music at Auschwitz: Aid to Survival or Dehumanizing Degradation?,” and “Suppressed Music and Art during the Nazi Era.” His lectures and presentations took place at the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, the New Zealand School of Music, and the locations above.

LISTEN: Dr. Sherr discusses the sonata premieres and lectures on Radio New Zealand’s Upbeat program

Sherr is active as a composer of Holocaust remembrance music, lecturer on Holocaust music topics, producer of remembrance events, and Holocaust music educator. In addition to his visit to New Zealand, past performances and lectures have been given in the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, England, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and North America.

For more information about the work of Dr. Laurence Sherr, visit his website at