By Kierstin Medina |
Adams State University’s Music Department began its elementary workshop program, Music 4 Kids, on Tuesday, March 26. Music 4 Kids is a free afterschool program that works with elementary students, primarily second and third graders, in the Alamosa area as well as other areas within the San Luis Valley. The Music For Kids program is run by music professor Dr. Tracy Doyle and her students majoring in music education. The Music 4 Kids program is intended to teach students the basics of music as well as have an experiential style in the classroom. The program is used as a service learning project for the elementary music methods class, which is a requirement for music education majors. Dr. Tracy Doyle’s students will be observing her techniques in which she teaches the young students throughout the initial period of the eight-week class, and then develop a curriculum, lesson plans, and assessments for the students for the latter sessions of the class. The ASU students will reflect on the lesson they taught and evaluate which teaching techniques needs to be improved and which techniques were beneficial. This process helps college students have real-life teaching experience so that they can experiment with their methods and strategies. Music 4 Kids gives music education majors the chance to practice teaching and apply lessons with children, while being supported by their peers and professor.
This program started a few years ago when Dr. Tracy Doyle decided that she wanted more opportunities for her students to teach in real-life settings. Dr. Tracy Doyle stated that she used to be an elementary teacher in California. With the Music 4 Kids program, her ASU students could observe her teaching techniques with the children and then gradually gain the skills to conduct the teaching themselves while she observes them, based on a gradual release model. With this model of learning, the Adams State students benefit by gaining a kinesthetic-like experience of teaching local students within the San Luis Valley. The elementary students also benefit from the class by being able to learn music in the experiential style, as mentioned before. The experiential style consists of having the elementary students learn “sound” before “symbol” in music. “As children, we learned to talk by listening to the sound of others talking,” explained Dr. Doyle.
Last year the Music 4 Kids program brought in fifteen elementary students, and this year, ten students have already been registered into the program. Dr. Tracy Doyle concluded by saying, “We learn music because we move to it, we sing to it, and we create it, which makes us fall in love with it.”