The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) recently announced the winners of its annual Collegiate Chapter of Excellence awards. The University of Michigan-Flint chapter is one of three programs that was recognized for excellence in service to the community.
Assistant professor of music Karen Salvador said the music students decided last spring that they wanted to be of service in the community. She suggested that they think of ways they could be of service while also developing skills that are directly related to their preparation as future k-12 music teachers, band/orchestra directors, or choir directors.
Salvador said it was a student who suggested asking Whaley Children's Center if they had a need for music instruction. "With the help of University Outreach, contact was made with Whaley, and they took us up on the offer of a choir that met for 45 minutes once a week for 10 weeks. The semester culminated with the choir going Christmas caroling (at the suggestion of the Whaley students)."
This semester the students partnered with Durant-Tuuri Mott elementary in a similar way, except that the choir meets for two hours once a week and are younger. They held a concert in the first week of April.
"This NAfME Collegiate service project builds leadership, musicianship, and pedagogical skills in the UM-Flint students, and provides opportunities for kids in the area to make music together," said Salvador. "We hope to sustain and further develop these partnerships, which benefit both our students and children in the community."