SRU to host modern music workshop May 20

music pedagogy students with instruments

Slippery Rock University music education majors Jeanne Marie Stalteri, a senior music from Indiana, Ashley Bodnar, a sophomore from New Castle and Quinton Herriot, a junior from New Castle, work on a piece of music as part of the “Popular Music Pedagogy” summer course.

May 19, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - While chalkboards and paperback books have nearly disappeared from modern-day classrooms in favor of laptops and PDFs, many music teachers still point to the classics - composers such as Beethoven and Mozart - as the peak of musical instruction, neglecting to address the modern genres their students enjoy on a daily basis.

"This tends to leave a lot of kids out," said Cassandra Eisenreich, music education and performance instructor at Slippery Rock University. "We want the musical experience to be as diverse as our students are."

In hopes of extending the classroom's repertoire, Eisenreich is offering a weekend workshop to area high school music teachers and SRU music education majors in hopes of widening the door to music participation.

The workshop, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 20 in Swope Music Hall, will be the finale of a week-long Popular Music Pedagogy course, designed to prepare educators to better connect with their students through popular musical genres including: rock, reggae, R&B, pop, hip-hop and country.

Eisenreich is expecting 30 educators and more than a dozen SRU students to participate in the unique workshop.

"This is definitely a one-of-a-kind opportunity," said Samantha Schreckengost, a junior music education major from Corry. "I am looking forward to the improvisation and composition portions of the workshop so that I can then bring them into my classroom someday. Composition is often undermined, but I get to learn this first-hand."

As part of the workshop, Eisenreich will also focus on the burgeoning national movement known as "Modern Band," which teaches students to perform, improvise and compose using the popular styles of music with which they are familiar. The program primarily utilizes guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, vocals, technology and computers.

Joining Eisenreich as co-instructor will be is Bryan Powell, director of higher education and programs at Little Kids Rock. Little Kids Rock is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring weekly education classes, expanding music programs and innovating teaching methods.

"The workshop is a great way to engage the community and establish connections between the next generation of music educators and those already established in the workforce," said Powell. "SRU provides a great resource to initiate such relationships."

For more details on the workshop, contact Eisenreich at: cassandra.eisenreich@sru.edu.

MEDIA CONTACT: Maizee Zaccone | 724.738.2091 | mxz1016@sru.edu