Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning

Tuesday 29 April 2014

"This course was the most interesting, stimulating and illuminating subject I've ever done during my BA. There were countless strengths to the course, but the most notable would be Stephen Loy's dedication to presenting the most engaging material possible." - Student

The ANU School of Music's Dr Stephen Loy has been acknowledged for sustained excellence in developing and implementing curricula in the fields of music theory, music history and cultural enquiry in music.


Dr Stephen Loy joined the ANU School of Music in 2010, teaching first-year music theory. Drawing on his expertise in diverse fields of musicological study, he has since developed and taught programs in music theory and music history, as well as developing themed interdisciplinary courses in the cultural study of music. In 2013, Stephen authored an application securing a Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Enhancement Grant to develop an online course in music skills for commencing first-year students.

Stephen's approach to teaching and supporting student learning

Since arriving at the ANU School of Music, I have developed and taught courses in the fields of historical musicology, music theory and musicianship and cultural enquiry in music. This period of my teaching career has been one of significant personal development as a tertiary educator, as my understanding of effective course design and teaching approaches has evolved greatly in parallel with my expanding grasp of these distinct areas of enquiry in music.

As a lecturer, I believe that it is my responsibility to instil in my students a hunger for knowledge and understanding that will inform a critical and inquiring approach in them for the rest of their lives. The few short years that a person spends at university can be such a formative period that I see it as my duty to do all that I can to assist every student with whom I come into contact with to develop these qualities to the best of their ability. It is this fundamental belief that informs all that I do in my teaching at ANU.

It is my firm belief that my role as a lecturer is not so much as a conveyor or information, but as a facilitator of students' interest in and passion for the knowledge and skills that will assist their development towards becoming fully rounded musicians and scholars. I also believe that, when presented in the appropriate manner, it is the subject matter of a course that can best inspire students to continue to explore those ideas and topics that most interest them. It is the cultivation of intrinsic motivation and inspiration in my students which informs the development of curricula for all my courses, and it is something that has been recognised by students.

My teaching of musicology and music theory is grounded in an understanding of the social, historical and political contexts that give rise to the repertoire under discussion, seeking to explore the complex relationships between various aspects of society and the music it created. This approach seeks not only to connect the music studied to its historical and cultural contexts, but also to take an interdisciplinary analytical approach that investigates specific aspects of musical style and structure that reflect these contexts. In addition to placing the musical material in a broader social context, this approach also facilitates a greater number of ways in which students are engaged with the material, a fundamentally important consideration when developing curricula.

Updated:  3 June 2014/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications