Skill sets for Praxis Project

Hello!  I have been Felicity since I moved to New York City in the 1970s and started teaching students just a little younger than I. Until then, the name most frequently applied to me was Flip. So now, I’m relaxing into both names. I’m quite a bit older, so I have years of experience, but I’m very new at digital thought and applications. My life background seems to fall into three loose categories:

1) My academic background includes a musicology degree with a focus on 20th century music and a thesis on pianist Art Tatum, a nearly blind, phenomenally creative jazz musician who redefined the meaning of pianistic virtuosity for nearly everyone who heard him. In 2020 I completed a BA in psychology from CCNY, where I studied all that I could learn about sound, music, the brain, hearing, listening, interpretation, perception, neuropsychology, and the therapeutic applications of music.

2) As a musician/pianist, I’ve worked with choirs and ensembles, but mostly as an entertainer in piano bars (old days) or in various situations with elderly people, most often in an institutional setting. I’ve also participated as a pianist in a music therapy group for several years.

3) As an executive assistant for 27 years to a man who co-founded a major conglomerate in the 1950s, and who pursued his dreams (usually just a little too early for success), I sometimes experienced life at the very exciting edge of possibility. During parts of the last seven or eight years of our work together, he dictated his memories, and I typed them into the computer as fast as I could. After we closed the office, I worked for the next two years to produce a two-volume privately published memoir for his family and colleagues.

Attempting to turn these experiences into skill sets for digital humanities applications and labels pertinent to digital projects is a challenge.

Project Management: I’ve been in many situations where I had to keep track of a variety of activities, organize, and maintain order in a timely fashion. I believe I can play a responsible part in this area, although I’ve never led or managed a team. I’ve taught school, so that in some respects represents a team leadership position.

Outreach: I have just been helping in the online promotion of a virtual recital that involved online research, large mailings of a poster with an embedded registration link, and an online letter, customized for each recipient, to transport information in a practical, efficient, and, hopefully, enticing manner. I have joined Facebook and Linked In but rarely go near these outlets. On the other hand, I am very interested in exploring music participation via Zoom, and I believe that such arenas provide opportunities we barely imagined a few years ago.

Developer and Designer: Skills:  At this moment, I have no computer language skills. For a MALS class last year, I created a WordPress web site called “Morningside Heights Reflections 1961-2020.”  For it I created a photographic exploration of three distinctive characteristic of the area:  Historic Designations; Monuments and Statues, and Institutions. To these I applied seven themes from Jane Jacobs’ historic study, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. It’s clunky, but it was a solid start in thinking about how to put things together on a site. (Available on the Commons if anyone is interested.)

I’m especially interested in focusing on accessibility, community building for a shared purpose, and simplicity, and I’m happy to play almost any role that would be useful.