Tag Archive | "Music department"

The beat goes on: 10-hour day of percussion

The Indiana Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society will hold a “Day of Percussion” Saturday, April 14, featuring 10 hours of expert percussion.

Four students from Indiana Wesleyan University will be featured, alongside percussionists from nine other universities around Indiana and one student from Marion High School.

But this event is not only for the musically inclined.

“Anybody can come to this. The music that they’ll hear is different from anything they’ve ever heard before, most likely,” Dr. Marc Wooldridge, professor of music at IWU. “You can always get same old same old. For most people they have never heard anything in this style before.”

This event will also feature clinics taught by two talented percussionists.

Tommy Igoe, a drummer for the movie “Lion King,” will teach a drum set clinic. Wooldridge called Igoe “one of the most amazing drum set players in the world.”

A timpani clinic will be taught by Jack Brennan, who regularly performs with the Indianapolis Symphony.

April 14 is also the day of the Spotted Cow music festival on IWU’s campus, but Wooldridge thinks that the Day of Percussion could actually be helpful to those who plan on attending Spotted Cow.

“When you hear a really good performer talk about how they approach the art, it shows you how to listen to music better,” Wooldridge said. “The next time they listen to a drum set track or if they walk over to Spotted Cow and hear a drummer, they’ll know what to look for. What he’s doing with the hi-hat, why he’s doing it that way. It would be a benefit really to anybody to get those insights.”

The Day of Percussion event is free of charge, and attendees are free to come and go as they please.

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Wind ensemble schisms

The wind ensemble at Indiana Wesleyan University will split into two groups starting in the fall.

The concert band, the new group, will only meet twice a week rather than the usual four days a week that wind ensemble currently meets. Professor Michael Flanagin will continue to be the director for both of these groups.

“When I first got here, there were only 40-45 people in the band,” said Flanagin. “Over the years it’s grown. I used to spend a lot of time recruiting people that were already on campus.”

He went on to say that the growing size of the group made for a greater disparity in skill levels, so the plan to divide the group in two would leave three days of rehearsals weekly for the wind ensemble and two days weekly for the concert band.

“This will give people a greater chance to find a group that meets their needs better,” said Flanagin. Concert band will be an opportunity for music majors who need to practice their secondary instrument.

Christa Jones (sr) has played the French horn in the wind ensemble for four years.

“I think it will bring a lot of changes to each of the groups, but it’ll be good because it will allow more non-music majors to join,” said Jones. “I think it will take some time to get used to the changes, but I think it will encourage growth in the music department and just getting more people to participate in music.”

Thomas Wilson (jr) is a music composition major and has played the saxophone for the wind ensemble for three years.

“I’m leaning towards [joining] both because you can use the time to learn a new instrument,” said Wilson.

Because of the splitting of the group, wind ensemble will have a smaller number of participants but will be considered a group that will consist mostly of music majors.

Rehearsal times for wind ensemble will now be 3:30-4:25 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and the concert band will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-4:25 p.m.

“My goal is to see more people involved overall in the instrumental program and also opens doors for people who can’t commit all the time,” said Flanagin.

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Music therapy major offered

A proposal to offer a music therapy degree at Indiana Wesleyan University was approved by the Academic Affairs Council March 29.

After three years of preparation, the degree program is in its final stages of approval. The faculty senate will review the proposal on April 10 and vote on it in May, after which time the university will pursue accreditation for the degree from the American Music Therapy Association and the National Association of Schools of Music later in the year.

“We’re moving very positively through the process,” said Dr. Lisa Dawson, associate professor of music, voice and opera studies at IWU.

If the degree passes the senate, students who are interested in pursuing it can begin doing so in the fall, according to Dawson.

The American Music Therapy Association defines music therapy as an allied health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address the physical, psychological, cognitive and social needs of individuals.

Put simply, Dawson defines music therapy as the application of music in a therapeutic clinical setting.

“It is interdisciplinary,” said Dawson. “We love that about this program. It [includes] a lot of existing classes between the Music Division and the psych division and, of course, gen eds.”

The degree proposal would include eight new classes: psychology of music, principles of music therapy, assessment and evaluation in music therapy, music therapy methods and techniques, research in music therapy, influence of music on behavior, music therapy with various populations and a six-hour internship.

“It’s really nice to be able to offer a whole new degree program and only have to add eight courses,” said Dawson.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, “a career in music therapy offers challenge, opportunity, and distinctive rewards to those interested in working with people of all ages with various disabilities. Music therapists are employed in many different settings including general and psychiatric hospitals, community mental health agencies, rehabilitation centers, day care facilities, nursing homes, schools and private practice.”

“The compassionate nature of Christ,” said Dr. Todd Guy, chair of the Music Division at IWU, “calls us to have that healing idea in our mind and in our hearts – that idea of helping people through discomfort and pain.”

“Evidence in studies show that music helps in so many ways in terms of healing, in terms of helping people cope with mental and physical illnesses,” Guy added, “so it does have healing power.”

“If you get on YouTube, you can see these crazy videos of brain activity related to music,” said Dawson. “It’s fascinating.”

Current and prospective IWU students have expressed interest in pursuing this degree, according to Dawson. One of these students is Jessica Alford (so).

“I have wanted to pursue music therapy as my major from the beginning,” said Alford. “But since there are only two Christian colleges that provide music therapy as an undergraduate degree, I chose to come to IWU in hope that they would get it before I graduated.”

“I have always seen myself working in a hospital, but I know I could never be a nurse or a doctor,” said Alford. “Music therapists work in the same kinds of atmospheres as nurses and doctors, but you don’t have to take science classes, and you get to use music on a daily basis. Who doesn’t love listening to music?”

Of course, as Dawson pointed out, “There are lots of places where people are careless with music.”

Because music can be used to manipulate people, it is important that people “know it and understand it and become a part of this research that we interface with music,” said Dawson.

For students interested in pursuing the potential new major next fall, Alford gives a bit of advice: “If you have a passion for music and people, and you want to work in a hospital/medical office atmosphere this might be a major you want to look into. Music therapy is as cool as it sounds.”

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