EARLY CHILDHOOD AND ELEMENTARY MUSIC
The Early Childhood and Elementary Music Community Engagement Initiative lead by Dr. Cassandra Eisenreich offers a variety of enjoyable and developmentally appropriate music activities for children. The classes serve as field experience opportunities for interested students and an additional learning experience for the music education majors.
Butler County Children's Center
Each week, children from the Butler County Children's Center programs are bused to the Swope Music department to meet with Dr. Eisenreich and current music education students for their music class. Each experience consists of music games and activities including sound exploration and discovery, singing, and movement. The emphasis of this program is to provide preschool-age children with many developmentally appropriate music and movement activities suitable for their age and experience. The activities are child-centered and rich in movement, singing, problem solving, listening, and exploring.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
The SRU Music Education Program is collaborating with the PSO Fiddlesticks Concerts in their pre-concert Discovery Time Adventures for kids. The SRU Music Education students will be leading activities rooted in eurhythmics to provide music and movement experiences. We hope you will join us to explore the joy of music through the PSO's Fiddlesticks Family Concert series.
Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
On select weekends throughout the year, SRU music students and faculty volunteer to bring an hour of music to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. These one-hour "drop-in" music experiences will take any young learner on a journey rich in song, movement, sound exploration, and musical play.
Music education majors who show interest in and dedication to the field of early childhood music are selected to teach their own preschool music classes in collaboration with the on-campus SRU/SGA Preschool. Each experience consists of music games and activities including sound exploration and discovery, singing, and movement. The emphasis of this program is to provide preschool-age children with many developmentally appropriate music and movement activities suitable for their age and experience. The activities are child-centered and rich in movement, singing, problem solving, listening, and exploring.
Make Music Day
Make Music Day is an annual celebration that occurs each June 21, when people around the world make music together on the summer solstice. Make Music Day has become an international phenomenon, with millions of musicians of all styles, all ages, and all skill levels reimagining their cities as stages, and using music to spread joy to their communities. The Slippery Rock University Music Department has partnered with the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh to provide sound exploration events for Make Music Day!
While at SRU, music education majors participate in a four-stage field experience process that begins during the freshman year. Field Experience 1: Observation involves 20 hours of observing in five areas of music education - elementary general music, elementary instrumental music, secondary general music, secondary vocal music, and secondary instrumental music. Field Experience 2: Exploration involves 20 hours of assisting in the field of music education. In this experience, students work with one music educator to assist him/her, for example, by running sectionals, demonstrating motions for a song, providing extra support to a student who needs assistance, or sharing a special musical talent with the students. Field Experience 3: Pre-Student Teaching is the traditional field experience, where students are placed in area K-12 schools to observe, assist, and teach in partnership with a practicing music educator. Finally, Field Experience 4: Student Teaching is a 16-week experience, which includes two eight-week placements, with practicing music educators in both an elementary and a secondary placement. Field experiences provide benefits both to the pre-service music educators and to the schools in which they complete their field experiences. Pre-service music educators benefit by having the opportunity to practice their teaching skills in real teaching situations and by learning from a variety of experienced music educators. The schools benefit by having a lower student-to-teacher ratio in their classes, as the field experience students take on some of the work typically done by the teacher, and by having the new perspective of the pre-service music educator.
Santa Fe Field Experience Immersion in Music
Music education majors travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a Field Experience Immersion in Music. Santa Fe is part of a " tri-cultural tradition," including Native American, Spanish, and Caucasian traditions, which is quite different from the diversity experienced in western PA. The first day in the schools was an overview of a variety of schools and music classes throughout the district. The students spent the remaining days in their field experience placements with the exception of the two days spent at the New Mexico Music Educators Association conference and one day where we saw two other area music programs. In the evenings, we had guest speakers relevant to music education, including arts partners and a teacher in the Santa Fe Public Schools who had dramatically increased the number of students in the choir in a very short amount of time. On the weekends, we engaged in sight-seeing and cultural exploration in Santa Fe. Students completed daily guided journalism, group reflection, and an impact paper as part of the course. Each student was formally observed by the instructor of the course while teaching through our university music field experience form and received a written final narrative evaluation at the end of the course. As a result of this course, students came to profound and frank realizations about hidden prejudices they had, the reality of socio-economic diversity, the differences in music education, the cultural differences that made New Mexico feel like a different country at times, and the aspects of music education and people that are the same everywhere.
Karns City Online Teaching Partnership
Students in the Woodwind Methods course at SRU were paired with students playing woodwind instruments in band at Karns City Junior Senior High School, and during the Spring semesters, students in the Instrumental Methods course at SRU were paired with students playing brass instruments at Karns City to engage in a teaching experience through distance-education. Over the course of several weeks, the Karns City students, under the direction of their band director, Miss Amanda Paulsen, recorded videos performing music on which they were focusing in band. The videos were sent to students in the SRU courses, which are taught by Dr. Kathleen Melago, and the SRU students worked on developing their ability to teach via technology by using the Coach's Eye app to produce videos to share with the Karns City students that included comments on what the students were doing well and how they could improve. Through Coach's Eye, the students used telestration tools, similar to what sports analysts use on ESPN, to circle, draw, speed up/slow down, zoom in/out, and record commentary within the original video to create personalized lessons to send back to the students. This experience helped to prepare SRU music education majors to teach in distance-learning situations and provided support to students at Karns City by helping them to develop their musicianship through a one-on-one lesson experience. Following the four to six lessons in the teaching partnership, the Karns City students came to SRU for a day to experience activities in music and physics and to tour the campus. Future plans for this partnership include expanding this experience to other schools and settings and considering other types of technology that could be used to accomplish the same goals.
Popular Music Pedagogy
Popular Music Pedagogy is an interactive workshop which serves as an introduction to implementing and maintaining Modern Band programs at all levels. Participants will become familiar with the use of technology in music and learn the fundamental playing and teaching techniques for all Modern Band instruments including: guitar, keyboard, drums, vocals, and bass. This student-centered approach will provide instant music-making experiences through improvisational activities, recreating familiar popular music selections, and creating new compositions based on style/genre interests. Participants use their new pedagogical knowledge and instrumental skill set to perform original songs they create during the course. The goal of this workshop is to inspire pre-service music educators and current educators to leverage the cultural capital of their students and provide a music education experience that will be as diverse as the students they teach. For more information or to register, click here.
World Music Drumming
We hope you can join us for a World Music Drumming Workshop. The workshop is designed for teachers, therapists, and community members that would like to learn the basics of African and Caribbean drumming, singing, and dancing. Both Level I & Level II workshops are available. For more information or to register, click here.
First Steps in Music
The First Steps in Music curriculum is designed to prepare children to become musical in by being Tuneful, Beatful, and Artful. First Steps in Music for Infants and Toddlers provides developmentally appropriate activities that are well suited for children under three years old with their caregivers. First Steps in Music for Preschool and Beyond provides activities for children as young as three but appropriate for any aged child that needs to further develop their tuneful, beatful, and artful abilities. Folk songs and rhymes as well as classical music are the primary source materials that are used to develop their musical minds and abilities. Created by Dr. John Feierabend, this pedagogical approach contains everything you need to lead a music class for preschool and early elementary students, including: Echo Songs, Call-and-Response Songs, Simple Songs, SongTales, Action Songs, Circle Games, Beat Motion Activities, and more. Participants who successfully complete this course will receive an official certificate of completion from the Feierabend Association for Music Education. For more information or to register, click here.
The SRU Music Department is excited to announce a collaboration with the Dalcroze Society of America. For more information or to book a workshop, contact Dr. Eisenreich.