About Ignite

If you had 5 minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds?

Around the world geeks have been putting together Ignite nights to enlighten us – quickly.

Music is What you Think it Is

Kent Godfrey



Many experiences have combined to make me who I am. My childhood spent running around and participating in sports led to my love for the academic study of movement. Years of embracing foreign culture fostered a passion for alternative perspectives and the realization that there are many different realities. By spending my life working with disabled people, I have gained a fascination for the senses. My degrees are in special education, clowning, theatre, and dance studies, which combine my passions for disabilities, education, the arts, and movement. Consequently, my focus in life has become working with disabled people in arts-related capacities such as describing plays to blind patrons, performing in a Deaf theatre company, and teaching the performing arts.

Most notably, while teaching creative movement to Deaf children in the Peace Corps, I noticed that my pupils were encountering tone, rhythm, melody, and harmony kinesthetically.
Consequently, I began to focus my Peace Corps assignment on teaching music multisensorily and developing related theories. My classroom became a laboratory for developing theories and practical approaches related to teaching the components of music through multiple senses.

After the Peace Corps, I spent the following 15 years as a scholar, educator, and researcher strengthening the ideas that I first conceived of in the Peace Corps. For example, at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance, I put my multisensory choreographic ideas into practice during choreography assignments. Then, during my master’s program in special education, I focused my assignments on the ideas that I came up with in the Peace Corps. After that, while pursuing a PhD in interdisciplinary studies I combined information from disciplines such as disability studies, anthropology, musicology, the arts, and sensory studies to demonstrate that the components of music can be experienced multisensorily.

My talk is about how humans experience the main components of music (tone, rhythm, melody, and harmony) through multiple senses. For example, I assert that every rhythm has manifestations in various senses. For instance, a particular rhythm can be heard, seen, or felt. A song, a painting, and a dance might all contain the same rhythm, simply perceived through separate senses. Although this idea is revolutionary, it is quite approachable.

The species of mankind has been bombarded by tone, rhythm, melody, and harmony through multiple senses for millennia via things such as the heartbeat, movement of the sun, the structure of plants, and the patter of raindrops. Therefore, mankind is deeply ingrained with an understanding of these concepts regardless of the sense through which they are perceived. The world’s many cultures take the concepts tone, rhythm, melody, and harmony; and combine them in various configurations to form different things. Namely, Westerners combine tone, rhythm, melody, and harmony auditorily they call it music, visually: art, kinesthetically: dance, and gustatorily: cuisine. In contrast, numerous non-Western societies combine tone, rhythm, melody, and harmony in several senses simultaneously to form things that are slightly different than music. The Deaf community provides a wonderful example because they have a long history of performing songs in sign language. Neuroimaging shows us that regardless of the senses through which a given tone, rhythm, melody, or harmony is perceived, similar processes occur in the brain. By connecting these subjects, I will illuminate my theory that humans experience the main components of music multisensorily.



Next Event

Ignite Bend ​15
​2018 TBA
Doors open at 6:00pm
Tower Theater - Bend, OR
Admission is always FREE

Tickets will be available two weeks prior to the event.


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