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Jan. 24, 2012
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab


SRU offers music majors career opportunity ideas


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University music majors thinking about careers as school music teachers will get the chance to see what other opportunities exist when the University’s music department and the Office of Career Services combine to present “Thinking Outside the K-12 Box: Unique Career Opportunities in Music Education” Feb. 7.

            The career planning panel session, open to all majors, will be at 12:30 p.m. in Swope Music Hall.

            Panelists will present options and entertain student questions.

 “With the economy the way it is, three panelists will offer excellent ideas to help our students feel confident about putting their music education degrees to use. The students will be inspired to go out, be creative and make a job for themselves if one does not already exist,” said Kathleen Melago, SRU music instructor. The program is designed to educate students about career options available to music majors.

“While our music students are well prepared for a career as a teacher, we want them to be aware of other opportunities to use their degree and talent outside the standard school classroom. The participants on this panel will give our students the chance to learn from and network with successful, music education professionals,” said John Snyder, associate director of SRU’s Office of Career Services.

            Participating panelists will be:

 Katherine Levy, an associate professor of music education at the State University of New York at Fredonia. She earned her doctorate and master’s degrees in music education from the University of Iowa and an undergraduate music education degree from Northwestern University. Her school music teaching experience includes teaching beginning, middle and high school instrumental music in Illinois and Wisconsin. 

Levy taught early childhood music in western Maryland where she founded a New Horizons Band for elderly musicians. She directs music instruction and conducts the New Horizons Band of Western New York, a band and music lesson program for “chronologically gifted” adults – ages 50 and over.

Her research interests are rhythm reading and perception, community music and lifelong music learning. She has conducted several studies of elementary and middle school musicians’ rhythm reading strategies. 

She is an active conductor and clinician.

            Mary Rumelfanger, a 1996 SRU music education graduate, has been involved in the Kindermusik program since 2003. The program emphasizes that children learn and grow through play with other children and teachers. The program is designed to instill a lifelong love of music.

She uses the program to stress the interactive nature of the total development of the whole child in body, mind and spirit.

She is director of music at the Church of the Good Shepherd and performs as a flutist and vocalist in the area, and she teaches children through age 7 at the Mother's Day Out Pre-School at Hickory United Methodist Church in Hermitage.

The Kindermusik program is founded on a research-based early childhood curriculum that uses bundled, thematic programs to help young children learn important language, listening and social skills.

Created by Kindermusik International, a leading provider of early childhood programs, the lessons make it easy for the classroom teacher to harness music to engage students and teach them skills ranging from vocabulary and expression to self-regulation. And,

Dan Parasky, owner of Parasky Studios in Murrysville, is a graduate with music degrees from Boston and Duquesne universities. His private flute students have successfully auditioned for various honors ensembles, soloist competitions and workshops at the local, regional, national and international level. Several of his students have received scholarships to pursue music at college. 

            Paraksy serves as an active clinician in pedagogy and has presented seminars during the National Flute Convention. His most memorable performance was during the 2006 opening gala concert of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra where he played onstage with Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway and the Pittsburgh Flute Club Flute Choir. 

            He is a member of the National Flute Association and recently resigned as president of the board for the Pittsburgh Flute Club. He is also the administrator for the Newlonsburg Music Academy in Murrysville.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.