Dr. Janice Haworth wins Fulbright Grant to teach in Africa

BEMIDJI, Minn. (April 26, 2010) — Dr. Janice Haworth, associate professor of music at Bemidji State University, has been awarded a Fulbright Grant for 2010-11 to serve as a guest scholar at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Dubreka, Guinea, West Africa.

At the institute, Haworth will teach courses on research methods, introduction to music and music education methods. She will also visit area primary schools and work with teachers and children, teaching them American songs and dance while also learning their traditional songs and dances. Haworth also will pursue a research project involving African drum beats.

Haworth and her brother, James, are working to perfect a visual drum notation system they invented called “SikLik.” SikLik notation is based on a polygonal shape that fits the structure of a particular rhythm pattern, with colored dots in varying sizes and shapes represent the hits, accented notes, and flams/drags of the rhythm patterns through timing-encoded spacing.

“We wanted to come up with a usable, visual drum notation,” Haworth said. “SikLik is an easy-to-read system that enables students to play accurately with a minimum of basic instruction. SikLik also works well for people who can’t read music or traditional drum notation, or for transcribing music that doesn’t fit into our style.”

Haworth’s research project will revolve around learning to play a local drum called the djembe and then attempting to record West African drum rhythms using the SikLik notation.

“I want to get into the culture, learn the rhythms and translate them into this notation,” Haworth said. “The West African rhythms have not been easy to notate effectively in western music notation.  I plan to use SikLik notation to try and notate the Guinean percussion rhythms.”

Haworth has been on the faculty at Bemidji State since 2000. She has taught the music education course sequence, music in the elementary classroom, introduction to music, fundamentals of music and world music, among others. She also is the former director of the Varsity Singers.

Before coming to Bemidji State, Haworth taught at the University of Central Arkansas from 1995-97 and at Georgia State University from 1997-2000.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education at Carson-Newman College, a master’s in choral conducting from the University of Tennessee and her doctorate in music education from the University of Florida.

Haworth’s Fulbright Grant is one of two won by Bemidji State University faculty this year; Dr. Louise Jackson, professor of psychology, will be serving as a guest lecturer at Comenius University in the Slovak Republic next year.

The pair of 2010 Fulbright grants brings the total won by BSU faculty since 2000 to five. Dr. Kit Christianson won an award last year to study politics in Norway, and BSU faculty won two Fulbrights in 2000-01. That year, in addition to Jackson’s first grant to study in Estonia Dr. Patricia L. Rogers won a Fulbright to study education in Iceland.

• Dr. Janice Haworth discusses her Fulbright Grant: http://www.youtube.com/user/BSUNews

About the Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program, the U.S. Government’s flagship international exchange program, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.  With this goal as a starting point, the Fulbright Program has provided almost 300,000 participants chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The Program was established by Congress in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which works with private non-profit organizations in the United States and with U.S. embassies and binational Fulbright Commissions abroad to administer the program. Policy guidelines are established by the Presidentially-appointed J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, which also selects the recipients of Fulbright awards.

Since 1947, the Fulbright Scholar Program has awarded nearly 45,000 grants to support teaching and research in countries around the world. Today it includes active programs in more than 125 countries.