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School of Music hosts trio of dynamic music education workshops
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

School of Music hosts trio of dynamic music education workshops

Kent Knappenberger, '87

Fredonia’s School of Music will offer three major events of interest to music educators -- at virtually all levels of instruction -- on consecutive weekends, beginning with the Western New York Orff Schulwerk Association Workshop "Read, Sing, and Dance with Patrick Ware" on Saturday, Sept. 16.

"We're very excited to host the Western New York Orff Schulwerk Association and the presenter, Patrick Ware, on our campus," said Jill Reese, associate professor of Music Education. "This workshop will be filled with teaching techniques and strategies to make cross-curricular connections between music and literacy through creative and play-based activities.” Dr. Ware, who speaks at conferences and workshops across the nation, is an engaging presenter with an extensive background in the Orff Schulwerk approach, Dr. Reese noted.

“While this workshop is most appropriate for music teachers, in-service and preservice classroom teachers at the elementary level would benefit from learning about the connections between music and literacy. We're glad to be able to offer the workshop for Continuing Teacher and Leader Education credits for certified teachers," Reese added.

Ware believes everyone loves a good story. “Every child has a story to tell. Together we will discover the opportunity for magical music making picture books. Appropriate and engaging for all ages; come play with us as we further our reading comprehension and enhance our musicality through children’s literature,” he said.

The workshop, which begins at 9 a.m. in Mason Hall Room 1080, is sponsored by the Western New York Orff Schulwerk Association. There is no enrollment fee.

"Expanding Music Horizons,” the theme of the Fredonia Music Education Summit -- featuring keynote speaker Kent Knappenberger, '87, music teacher and choir director at Westfield Academy and Central School and 2014 recipient of the GRAMMY Music Educator Award -- will be held on Saturday, Sept. 23, in Mason Hall.

It is the third year the School of Music has held a conference built around Mr. Knappenberger, the inaugural winner of the GRAMMY for Music Education, said Vernon Huff, assistant professor of Music Education.

“We do a wonderful job training future educators to teach ‘traditional’ large ensembles: choir, bands, and orchestras, but we also need to include 'non-traditional' music making. This series of workshops will allow students and area teachers to encounter many of these types of groups, and hear from educators who are pushing the boundaries of traditional music making," Dr. Huff said.

This workshop is free, though registration is required. CTLE/Professional Development Credit is available. Participants are to arrive at 8:30 a.m. for coffee in the Mason Hall lobby.

Additional workshops, scheduled between 9 a.m. and noon and featuring Fredonia Music Education faculty, students and guest speakers, will explore how music learning's horizons are expanding beyond school music traditions. Topics include:

• Little Kids Rock: transforming lives by restoring, expanding and innovating music education in schools, led by Bryan Powell and Ryan Boshart.
• Teaching music reading as language acquisition, by Knappenberger;
• Recreational instruments. Fun with ukes, guitars, drums and other instruments, by Knappenberger;
• The arts and community youth resiliency, by Sarah Marchitelli, instructor at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts, Inc. of Jamestown;
• Composition workshop for educators, by Dr. Rob Deemer, head of the School of Music composition faculty

All sessions are free, but registration is required. Details and an online registration link are available. For more information, email Dr. Katherine Levy.

Little Kids Rock! will also be explored in a day-long professional development workshop on Sunday, Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Mason Hall Room 1080. In-service and preservice teachers will have an opportunity to learn techniques for engaging students of all ages and abilities in the context of pop, rock and other modern genres of music.

David Wish, who founded the program with classroom teachers who had no formal music training, gradually expanded the workshops to include music teachers. The goal of this "modern band" approach is to engage the 80 percent of students (on average) who are not involved in traditional concert band, choir or orchestra.

"I went to a Little Kids Rock five-day conference this summer and was impressed with the ways in which the LKR presenters used an aural approach and creativity to help the participants rock out," Reese said. "Some of the participants were classroom teachers who did not read standard notation, but were interested in getting an after-school rock band started. Some were music teachers who were interested in adding these techniques to their music programs.

“Many of the participants began with no experience playing electric bass, electric and acoustic guitar, keyboard or drums, and they left the workshops with enough skill to teach their students to play these instruments. So, whether you have a lot of experience or no experience at all, if you're interesting in helping your students discover more about themselves through rock 'n' roll, this workshops for you. We're glad to be able to offer the workshop for Continuing Teacher and Leader Education credits for certified teachers,” Reese said.

Registration is available online. Practicing teachers who preregister can receive a free guitar at the workshop.

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