Dr. Jonathan Middleton, DMA
Professor of Theory and Composition, He/him/his
DMA – Columbia University, 1999
Dr. Jonathan Middleton is a composer, music and HCI researcher, and professor at Eastern Washington University. He has served as a researcher and artist in residence at Stanford University and the University of Tampere in Finland. The foundation of his work stems from the web-based software he designed in 2004 to transform data into melodies (musicalgorithms.org). He is also the author of the textbook "Essentials for Composers: Creative Process by Design." Dr. Middleton likes to make music theory and composition engaging, easy to understand and relevant to students' needs. He has many diverse interests, including working with Apocalyptica and publishing journal articles with Leonardo and Heliyon.
In which online degree program do you teach?
Links to share:
- Book: https://www.waveland.com/browse.php?a=933&pgtitle=Jonathan%20%20Middleton
- Sample composition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wujOo5Nj29Q&ab_channel=MichaelWaldrop
- Sample article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5079661/
- Web tool for composition: http://www.musicalgorithms.org
In what ways do you connect with online students?
I use Canvas, Zoom and email.
What do you want your students to take away from class?
I want my students to build fundamental skills for analysis and creativity.
What is the value of an advanced degree in today’s work environment?
Advanced degrees help us grow as professionals. Academic courses help us see things from new perspectives.
What advice would you give to your online students?
Don't be afraid to explore new things and experiment with what you have learned in your working environment. People will admire you for trying.
Why did you start teaching?
I learned to teach with the Socratic method as a graduate student at Columbia University.It was an enlightening experience to learn from great teachers and student peers. It was a great training ground with lots of mentoring, and I learned to enjoy engaging my students and helping them grow intellectually. I started teaching professionally because I knew how to teach beyond the basic levels and found meaning and purpose in what I do.
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon. It gives readers a sense of how people can see and experience the world differently from our own.
What do you do when you need a laugh?
I play Fictionary with my friends.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students may not know.
I compose music from data. I specialize in a new field of study called data-to-music. I like to hike and camp with my family, and I know how to speak French and sail a boat!