Service-Learning: Community Engagement in the Classroom
The School of Music is proud to offer many courses that include partnerships with community organizations and schools. Below is a sampling of community engagement integrated into courses.
Headstart Music Friends
Headstart Music Friends is a collaborative venture between the Ithaca College Music Education Department and the Franziska Racker Center Headstart Program. The project is led by Emily Mason and is designed to provide music experiences both for children with special needs, such as students with disabilities and those who are English language learners, and for children from low income and high needs backgrounds.
During weekly visits to Ithaca College's campus students participate in lessons designed to provide valuable musical opportunities. Under the advisement of music education professors, Ithaca College music education majors, enrolled in Music Education for Children, assist a lead teacher during the classroom experiences. In addition, the project provides observation opportunities for students in the Freshman- and Sophomore-level Music Field Experience.
HEARD Program - Creative Arts Outreach
This service-learning course allows students to experience music with incarcerated youth at the MacCormick Center. Students from any major are welcome to learn alongside the residents, creating a hands-on opportunity to build community through the use of drum circles. Students have the opportunity to make a difference in our local community, while gaining valuable and rewarding personal and musical experiences. By simply spending time with the residents, student show them that they care, but by teaching them a skill, they are giving them a way to show themselves and others that they can positively contribute to the world around them. The first course offered was led by Dr. Baruch Whitehead and used drum circles to explore one’s self and community. The semester culminated with a collaborative performance between the residents and students, incorporating spoken word. Although part of this course is focused on making music, no musical experience is necessary; students learn all you need to know in the classroom.
Reaching Out to Audiences
This course taught by Paige Morgan is an exploration of how musicians can reach and build broader audiences for the various genres of classical music. Topics include the importance of community involvement, musicians’ interaction with audiences, visual presentation of performance, presenting 20th- and 21st-century music to diverse audiences, connecting with music education programs in colleges and public schools.
Creative Arts Methods for Older Adults
This course explores the techniques for developing a creative arts program for older adults that including music, drama, and movement. The process combines an overview of gerontological issues and their relationship to the needs of older adults. Classes meet on campus and at local adult-care facilities.
Composing in the Schools
Composition majors work with a local middle school to compose an original work for performance by the middle school ensemble. Composition students meet at the middle school and develop a work based on the conductor and students feedback. Another aspect of this course is the Books out Loud Garage Band Project. In partnership with Fall Creek Elementary 4th Grade, Ithaca College students spend a week in residency in the school teaching students to use Garage Band to connect themes of books to music they create.
IC Ensemble and Public School Partnership Program
Ithaca College major ensembles, such as choir, women’s chorale, wind ensemble, concert band, symphonic band, and symphony orchestra partner with their counterparts in the public schools to share concerts, perform side-by-side rehearsals, and conduct sectionals.
For the past 33 years Lawrence Doebler has taken the choir on tour and partnered with high school and community ensembles to not only enhance the touring experience for Ithaca College students, but to help strengthen music programs by providing master classes and distinct learning opportunities for students in each community visited.
Annual Community Performances
Founders Day Concert in Dewitt Park
Holiday Concerts at Ithaca Country Club, Ithaca Rotary Club, and First Presbyterian Church of Ithaca
Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert
Featured ensemble at Gospel Festival in Ford Hall where 250 underrepresented students from around the country travel to Ithaca College to perform.
Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert