Dr. Janet Brenneman

Janet Brenneman head shot.jpeg

Affiliation: Canadian Mennonite University
Presentation: Interest Session, Research Paper
Title: The song and dance of inclusive language: Exploring issues of language in choral education contexts
Abstract: This session addresses issues related to the topic of inclusive language in the choral rehearsal by exploring the following questions: How does our choice of language foster and/or hinder the rehearsal process and experience of the choir as community? How does our choice of language influence the direction of the choral rehearsal, thereby facilitating or negating the experience of individual choristers? How can inclusive language simultaneously provide affordances and impose limitations thereby impacting the experiences of both choral leaders and singers? It is through the methods of inquiry, reflections, and conductor/chorister interactions that we explore how the careful and deliberate use of language has inclusive and exclusive implications in choral music education.

Biography: Dr. Janet Brenneman is Dean and Associate Professor of Music at Canadian Mennonite University where she teaches music education and conducts the CMU Singers and the CMU Women's Chorus. Janet earned Bachelor and Master degrees in Music Education from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in Music Education from Michigan State University. She studied conducting with Doreen Rao, Elmer Iseler, and Charles Smith. As a graduate student, Janet was awarded the prestigious Sir Ernest MacMillan Award in Music Education for her research and scholarship in the area of gender issues in music education. Having worked with choirs at all ages and levels, Janet is currently the conductor of Renaissance Voices; the Faith and Life Women’s Choir; and, co-director of the Mennonite Festival Chorus, a symphonic chorus for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. She enjoys a busy family life with her husband John Balsillie and their two daughters, Lydia and Naomi.