Steve Swayne

Steve Swayne receives the Professor John Rassias Faculty Award

 Left to right: Nick Rassias, Helene Rassias-Miles, Don Pease, Steve Swayne, Mary Dengler '96, and Russell Wolff ’89, Tu’94

By Rachel Hastings

Thursday, May 25, 2017 

Dartmouth professors are unparalleled in their commitment to educating their students. Even so, with their packed schedules it is a rare professor who is able to dedicate equal time to teaching alumni many years after they leave the classroom.

Steve Swayne, the Jacob H. Strauss 1922 Professor of Music; and Don Pease, the Ted and Helen Geisel Third Century Professor in the Humanities, Chair of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program, and professor of English and comparative literature, have done just that during their tenure at the College.

Steve Swayne on Music and Making the World a Better Place

The Dartmouth Professor Talks: Steve Swayne is the Jacob H. Strauss 1922 Professor of Music and chair of Dartmouth’s music department. The author of two books, with two more in the works, Professor Swayne talks to Dartmouth Now about stretching the boundaries of musicology, the morality of MP3s, and how a gay man who once served as an evangelical chaplain redefined his calling.

The Dangers of Overestimating Music Therapy (The Atlantic)

In an opinion piece for The Atlantic, Professor Steve Swayne says that while songs can help dementia patients recall memories, it is important to realize that music may also invoke false memories and confusion. “For someone suffering from dementia, we have no easy way of knowing whether she is genuinely recalling a song and how the recall challenges her present situation, which is decidedly not that earlier time and place,” he writes.

Swayne, the Jacob H. Strauss 1922 Professor of Music and chair of the Department of Music, continues, “We hope that the patient is experiencing joy, but that joy can be laced with anxiety or even terror from being awakened by familiar sounds into an unfamiliar world.”

Read the full opinion piece, published 7/15/14 by The Atlantic.