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. Even while pursuing her graduate work in performance, Jaemi continued to research and study a wide variety of topics in music history, historical performance practice, critical musicology, and music theory. Jaemi’s current research is focused on studying the impact of orchestral playing on student success, with an eye towards understanding ensemble playing as a high-impact practice and developing an intervention strategy for musically-inclined students who might be at risk for failing to complete college. She has presented recent research at the College Orchestra Directors Association Conference (2016, 2017, 2018) as well as the University of Oxford Conducting Studies Conference (2018) and has published in the College Orchestra Directors Association Journal.
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 fundamental desire 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 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 work continues.
As a classroom teacher at the college level, Jaemi has experience teaching 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.