School of Music formally adopts Greencastle Middle School music programs

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After more than six months of planning, the DePauw School of Music has formally adopted the Greencastle Middle School music program.
“The idea [for School of Music to adopt Greencastle Middle School’s music program] came about in the spring of 2012,” said Greencastle Middle School music director Kathryn Dory. “Mrs. Tamra Walker, principal of GMS, was talking to Dr. Craig Pare (professor of music) about some needs that she saw for the music program. Dr. Pare took her concerns and a couple of ideas to Dr. Mark McCoy (dean of the School of Music).”
Many meetings between Greencastle Middle School faculty, McCoy, Pare and Director of Corporate Relations Steve Setchell eventually determined the needs of the middle school’s music department. DePauw’s School of Music solidified their commitment to assist this “critical need for music education in our community,” according to McCoy.
Although some students knew of the pending adoption before the semester began, and have been receiving updates throughout the year, it became “official” on Sept. 19.
Project TRIO helped kick off that day with a special performance at Greencastle Middle School. The group began an introduction to classical music through their unique style, which modifies classical pieces into a one-of-a-kind and modern genre.
Since the program was just recently finalized, most students haven’t had a chance to get out into the community yet. However, a few students volunteered for two weeks at the beginning of the semester in preparation.
“I had several students move into the district, and they had not even been tested on instruments,” Dory said. “These students helped my beginners test instruments and then get started on the basics of playing. My students loved having the individual attention and got a good start on their instruments because of the extra help.”
Students will be assisting the choir and band by helping with rehearsals, smallgroup lessons and one-on-one time with students.
College of Liberal Arts students are welcome to volunteer with the program as well, as long as they are enrolled in a large ensemble, such as orchestra, band or university chorus, and private lessons, according to McCoy.
“I hope that the adoption will be a win-win situation for both my students and for the DPU students,” Dory said. “My students will get extra help and attention that they need, and the DPU students will get hands-on teaching and learning situations.”
This outreach is just one of the many changes the School of Music has made this year with the goal of positively affecting the community and developing opportunities both for DePauw students. Junior Blake Lampton credits McCoy with many of the positive changes and the overall outreach.
“First and most importantly, I think that Dean McCoy deserves a lot of credit due to all of the positive changes he has been making to improve our already great school,” Lampton said.
Lampton said the many changes and exceeding improvements in musical ability have “sparked the attention” of the community and will only help DePauw and Greencastle to thrive together.
“[I hope this adoption] improves the state of music education in our area and gives School of Music students valuable teaching experience and the feeling of what it is like to contribute to one’s community,” McCoy said.