Laila Kteily-O'Sullivan, Ph.D. came to the University of Memphis, Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music following
six years of service on the Music Theory Faculty of the University of North Texas,
College of Music. Prior to this most recent Core teaching and music theory pedagogy
research, Dr. Kteily-O'Sullivan held appointments on the music faculties of several
liberal arts institutions including Cedarville University and Greenville College.
She earned three degrees in music from the University of North Texas (B.M., M.M.
and Ph.D.) with specializations in Music Theory, Jazz Studies (vocal) and Music Theory
Pedagogy/ Music Education.
Her main area of research for the Ph.D. and beyond has been the Pedagogy of Music
Theory, with particular work in Aural Skills acquisition, the Undergraduate Music
Theory sequence and the undergraduate perception of relevance within that Core of
studies. As a result, Dr. Kteily-O'Sullivan has recently published textbooks which
contribute to the particular needs of that Core, including Passage to Music Literacy: Syllabus for Aural Skills, 2nd edition, co-written with Regents Professor Dr. Gene Cho (Kendall Hunt, 2011), Melody Harmonization at the Keyboard: Functional Skills for the College Music Student, revised 1st edition, also co-written with Regents Professor Dr. Gene Cho, (Kendall
Hunt, 2011) and Fluent with Fundamentals: A Practice Manual for Proficiency in College Level Musicianship, 2nd edition (Cengage Publications, 2011). Finally, a more advanced solution text,
intended for third semester theory courses and beyond, Annotated Anthology and Handbook for Musical Analysis: Understanding the Practice
of Tonality has recently been accepted for publication. Though still in progress and expected
out this fall semester, it is hoped that this resource might also be useful for graduate
courses as well. Dr. Kteily-O'Sullivan also serves as textbook reviewer for publishers
such as Pearson, Prentice Hall, Routledge, W.W. Norton and Oxford University Press.
Dr. Kteily-O'Sullivan has taught a variety of courses over the years and hopes to
be challenged by many more, as the college music curriculum changes with time. She
has developed new course sequences and variations of existing ones, including accelerated
Music Theory and Aural Skills, an "abbreviated three" semester course sequence (normally
completed in four semesters) by freshmen and sophomores who test into this "honors"
option, as well as graduate level Problems in Music Theory Pedagogy. She has supervised
graduate Music Theory Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows as they learn to teach
core courses such as Fundamentals, Music Theory I-IV and Aural Skills I-IV and enjoys
observing and assisting them in their development as pedagogues.
Working actively with the transcription and analysis of improvised jazz and popular
music is also a favored pursuit for Dr. Kteily-O'Sullivan; she sings jazz and contemporary
music, continues to learn about connecting improvisation with aural skills, and writes
analytical and historical research in vocal jazz, with published articles appearing
in IAJE Jazz Research Proceedings and in Jazz Educators Journal. She is fascinated
by every aspect of music learning and musicianship, especially matters of classroom
interaction and the music student's perception of relevance.
Dedicating time and effort to academics outside of Music is also important to Dr.
Kteily-O'Sullivan. To this end, she has been named as Faculty Fellow in the UNT Transformative
Instruction Initiative offered by the Center for Learning Enhancement, Assessment,
and Redesign and has secured sizeable grants for course re-design more than once for
overhaul of core courses within the Division, improving the student learning outcomes
and retention therein.