Intellectual Rigor

Music scholarship and performance are both part of the same process of making music for Jaemi, not competing disciplines. As a dedicated academic, Jaemi produced both an undergraduate honors thesis and a large doctoral document that focus on ways to use the theoretical tools of post-structuralist thinkers to analyze music both technically and socially. Jaemi began taking graduate courses as an undergraduate at Brown University on topics such as Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project and Theodor Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory. While pursuing her graduate work in performance, Jaemi has continued to research and study a wide variety of topics in music history, historical performance practice, critical musicology, and music theory. Some of her current interests include Schenkerian analysis, 19th century performance practice and wind instruments, the history of Yiddish song, theories of musical gesture, and applying Benjamin’s notion of aura to an increasingly digital world.

Jaemi’s intellectual enthusiasm for the study of music inspires her work on the podium and in ensemble-building. When crafting an interpretation, Jaemi brings all of her analytical tools and practical skills to bear. Her deep understanding of a score helps her create performances that are artistically and emotionally fulfilling by virtue of their intelligence. Her dedication to Grass Roots Music as a way of building community is her chosen type of social activism. Though backed up by subtle philosophical, critical, and political analysis, Jaemi’s innate desire to help people and make the world better drive her to integrate theory and practice.

Jaemi’s overarching academic interest has always been the politics of symphonic music making. What effects does a symphony orchestra as an institution have on its community and society at large? How can those effects be put to use to make things better? What responsibilities do performers have to their audiences, the music they perform, and the composers who create the music they perform? She approached many of these questions in her doctoral document, which investigated how seemingly apolitical music can either participate in or resist ideology (in an Althusserian Marxist sense) and what ethical implications that might have for concert programming practices. As is often the case with such projects, the intellectual work continues.

As a classroom teacher at the college level, Jaemi has experience in music appreciation, a full range of music theory and aural skills, and class piano. She enjoys teaching both introductory and advanced classes for students of all majors, whether or not they are pursuing a career in music. She hopes to teach advanced seminars on music and politics, 20th century music history, and the connection between technical analysis and performance.

You can click here to request a writing sample, previously used course syllabus, or a copy of Jaemi’s doctoral document. You can also follow Jaemi’s ongoing research on