EUREKA — Pam Bates, Eureka College associate professor of music staff accompanist, lectured students on key musical concepts March 7 in the Cerf Center.
"One of the students here said, 'Professor Bates is quite simply a miracle worker as a teacher,'" Dr. Philip Acree Cavalier, Eureka College provost dean, said. "I certainly appreciate the work that she and her colleagues have done."
Bates teaches piano studies, music theory, music history, and music methods at the college. She received a bachelor's degree in music education, a bachelor's degree in music, and a Master of Music in music education as well as piano performance from Bradley University.
Bates' teaching experience includes 15 years of public school music, two years at Illinois Central College, 15 years at Bradley University and more than 20 years of private studio teaching.
Other professional experiences include 18 years as a church musician, choral director and accompanist for the Peoria Civic Opera, Eastlight Theater accompanist, Peoria Symphony Concert Competition accompanist, Bradley Community Chorus accompanist, and accompanist for student recitals and concert performances at both Eureka College and Bradley University.
"Music was my thing since childhood," she said.
Bates said she was able to play the piano since she was 7, thanks to a piano in her home. But one gift that helped her with her musical career in college was a grand piano her mother gave her.
During the lecture, Bates gave an explanation of music terminology such as harmony, texture and melody. She also explained how classical composers used these concepts to create their style of music.
"Melody is the tune that stays with you when you walk away from a performance," she said.
For instance, the guitar part of "Smoke on the Water," is the most memorable part of the song.
Harmony is defined as the combination of simultaneous musical notes in a chord. A chord is a group of notes sounded together.
Bates illustrated that harmony supports and enhances a melody, giving it a certain mood. The reason that the "Mission Impossible" theme music has that intense feel to it is because of its harmony.
Harmony also gives the music texture.
"Texture is the thickness or the thinness of the sound," she said.
One example of creating a thick sound is with the use of several layers of instruments, according to Wikipedia.org. Playing the piano and violin at the same time could create a thick sound.
Bates broke down the different terminology in order to show how songs are composed. She compared the idea of musical composition to the recipe for an enjoyable food dish.
"My reaction is, 'OK I'm tired of hearing about it. I want the recipe,'"she said.
Originally, Bates did not choose to do the lecture.
"Dr. Cavalier asked me last fall," she said.
But after some thought, she said she decided it would be fun to do for her students.
"I have some excellent students," she said.
Bates' lecture closed out a series of lectures known as the Clarence R. Noe Dean's Lecture Series. About 20 people attended her lecture. For information on other campus lectures or events, visit Eureka.edu or call 467-6350.