Erin McGroarty / Sun Star Reporter
Sept. 13, 2011
“Really, it’s a win-win situation,” Morris Palter said chuckling as he swiveled back and forth on his stool.
Palter is the artistic director of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Percussion Lab, an assistant professor of an assortment of other classes and a former UAF Faculty Senate member.
He sat in the middle of his office, surrounded by a plethora of assorted percussion instruments, and explained his new creation. This fall term, Palter teaches a class titled “Running with the Devil: A History of Good and Evil Within Music.” This is not a normal class, he said.
Posters for the class invite students to “explore why and how the Devil, the supernatural and evil, and evil has come to influence such a large breadth of musical activity – if you dare…”
If faculty members come up with clever ideas for courses in any subject, they can submit it to a board for approval. When a class is approved, that faculty member can teach it. Students can sign up for free, like guinea pigs, to see if the class is a success. This will be Palter’s first year teaching this new course, and he is very enthusiastic. He encourages students to try out his new class. Not only will they be able to take a course for free, but they will also be able to learn something new.