Michael Wall portrait
  • Associate Professor (Lecturer), School Of Dance
215-435-6414

Current Courses

Fall 2020

Spring 2020

Teaching Philosophy

I teach the fundamentals of music, music with choreography and how to work with technology to create and manipulate sound. Teaching music to dancers encourages my own research and constant investigation into music. The university provides a rich and stable work environment that allows me to go deeper into the long-term growth as an artist. I model the practice of a working artist and share the excitement within collaborative teaching with my students. While playing for their technique classes, I see how music is helping them move and what challenges they are struggling with. I can then focus on that within the music courses embedded throughout the undergraduate/graduate curriculum. My core motivation is to show students that it is possible to live as an artist and that the work they do in college, has a direct impact on their future success in the field.

Courses I Teach

  • DANC 2640-001 - Rhythmic Analysis – Percussion Accompaniment
    This course reinforces the rhythmic knowledge students will utilize throughout their careers as dancers. The content will explore the fundamentals of rhythmic notation, performance and discovery. We will examine how rhythm operates across dance/music styles and how to integrate that knowledge into the student’s movement practice.
  • DANC 3610-001 - Workshop III
    Choreography rarely exists by itself. It is most often partnered with other elements including music, sound design, text, and interactive media, and is created or presented within a variety of different spaces other than simply a proscenium stage. These elements both influence our choreographic/art-making choices and also how we perceive the dance. The purpose of this class is to explore the relationship between dance and these other elements, discover some of the many ways in which dance and these other elements may be combined in choreography, and in so doing, expand one’s choreographic voice. By doing so, we can think of choreography being an interdisciplinary and collaborative process where the end is larger than the sum of the parts. The relationship between music, sound and text, will be particularly highlighted.
  • DANC 6220-001 - Grad Dance Workshop II
    This course provides first-year graduate students with an opportunity to explore choreographic and musical composition through workshopping creative content relevant to the candidate’s individual artistic identity. This course itself is a work-in-progress. The content and methods will be developed in collaboration with participating students and faculty to reflect overlapping areas of interest and experience. This class introduces a range of approaches to creating, developing, manipulating and thinking about music, movement and creating dances. Class will be a laboratory for three principal objectives: 1) considering musical selection, development and manipulation; 2) exploring personal movement vocabularies; and 3) transforming those vocabularies into more fully developed, dynamic, formally complex and coherent choreographies.
  • DANC-1640-001 - Elements of Music
    Students are expected to learn fundamental rhythmic notation reading skills. Students will also increase their analytical music listening skills in relationship to the basic elements of music such as rhythm, melody, harmony, texture and form. These elements will be discussed in relationship to various music styles and periods of music history.There will always be special attention brought to their relationship to dance; ballet and modern dance specifically.

Student Projects

  • 14 new musical scores. Gaduate/Undergraduate. 02/25/2013 - 02/23/2014
  • 18 minute score for Graduate Thesis Performance. Graduate. 11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013
  • 12 minute score along with editing existing music for Graduate Thesis Performance. Graduate. 11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013
  • Orchesis Flash Mob – 5 minute piano and text score. Undergraduate. 10/05/2013 - 10/08/2013

Faculty/Outside Collaboration

Six new musical scores for Faculty choreography. 27 new scores for outside internation choreographers and film makers. 12 new albums of music made specifiaclly for dance. All of the music is available for free at soundformovement and no licensing fees for students.