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Bethlehem, Pa., December 4, 2009—Music, the universal language, has helped build a special bond between six Moravian College music majors and forty fourth- and fifth-grade music students at Donegan Elementary School in south Bethlehem. One afternoon each week, the college students (all volunteers) mentor the young musicians after school, giving advanced instrumental instruction as band director Janelle Zook works with the other students. Moravian artist-lecturer Deborah Andrus is on hand to observe and advise the college students.
The two-month-old program, initiated by Andrus, seems to be hitting all the right notes. “My students really look forward to their time with the Moravian students,” said Zook. “The results have been very positive. They’ve progressed so much more quickly than in the past, when I was teaching by myself.”
And the lessons are more than musical. The fourth- and fifth-graders see “what it looks like to be in college and to serve your community,” added Zook. At the same time, the future music teachers take-away important lessons on how—and why— to teach.
The last Donegan-Moravian after-school session for the year is Monday, December 7. Donegan will hold a concert for parents and students on Tuesday, December 8. The program will resume in January with the additional support of a community grant, which will fund new music books for the students.
The Moravian student volunteer instructors are: Justin Holguin ’11 (flute), Patrick Scheirer '11 (clarinet), Courtney Eby '10 (saxophone), Amy Putlock '10 (trumpet), Andy Borghesani '10 (trombone), and Peter Zimmer '10 (percussion). Lehigh University students Sebastian Estevez (percussion) and MariAnne Sullivan (woodwinds) also help with the after-school elementary music program.
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.