Teaching Philosophy
Dr . Daniel Perttu teaches courses in the 2-year music theory sequence, Form and Analysis, Counterpoint, Seminar in
Music Theory, individual composition lessons
, as well as the Capstone Thesis and Recital and the Honors Thesis.  A
strong advocate of the liberal-arts philosophy, he also teaches an interdisciplinary course on the psychology of

Philosophically, Dr. Perttu believes that the purpose of education in music is two-fold:  it balances the utilitarian
aspects of professional training and the more philosophical perspectives of the liberal arts.  Professional musicians
must n
ot only be performers, but critical thinkers, not only about music and the arts in general, but about all fields.  If
musicians ar
e to communicate anything substantive through their art, they need to be fully engaged with the
thoughts, behaviors, and societies of those both within and outside of the arts.

As a teacher of composition, Dr. Perttu welcomes students of all creative perspectives and trains them to recognize
quality despite aesthetic orientation.  To do so, he incorporates perspectives from music psychology to demonstrate
how different compositional techniques affect the responses of listeners in terms of neuropsychology as well as
emotional, cognitive, and social psychology.  These perspectives are critical in guiding students because they
provide necessary limitations on compositional practice, as such limitations are essential to the production of even
the most inspired music.  Ultimately, studying these perspectives is as essential to the composer of music as studying
the laws of physics is critical to the aeronautical engineer.

In addition teaching music majors, Dr. Perttu also teaches non-majors both music courses and interdisciplinary
courses.  As a passionate advocate of the liberal-arts philosophy, he believes that studies in the arts and humanities,
particularly when creative thinking is nurtured and honed, enable students to become more inspired and effective in
their chosen fields.  
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