A new program in the music department aims to familiarize students with modern music technology, as opposed to the historical figures such as Bach or Mozart.
Cassandra Eisenreich, music education and performance director at SRU, said the new Popular Music Pedagogy program is a three-credit course which will be offered starting in May 2017. The course will act as workshop to implement modern band practices that students can relate to in their everyday lives. By the end of the course, students will be able to perform original songs with skills they learned.
“The program we came up with is in no way meant to replace the pillars of music education,” Eisenreich said. “It more so is geared toward enhancing their overall understanding and appreciation of the subject.”
Eisenreich will be joined by Bryan Powell, who is the director of a national non-profit organization called ‘Little Kids Rock’. Their initiative helped inspire the new music department course.
“Our goal is to reach kids who might not want to be in marching band or jazz band but have an interest in music,” Powell said. “We’re excited to see universities and colleges adopting our program and preparing future music to better identify with their students.”
Both Powell and Eisenreich are hoping that the exposure to working with instruments like guitars, drums, keyboard and bass will allow those enrolled in the course to connect with students from all walks of life when they become teachers.
A workshop will also be offered to local K-12 bands and choirs to initiate a relationship between those in the course and current elementary and high school music instructors.
“Engaging the community through music is a great way to build lasting connections and Slippery Rock has the means to bring that dream to reality,” Powell said.
Eisenreich sees the course as a future building block of music education.
“This course will give students a different and much-needed perspective,” Eisenreich said. “This music has become an important part of everyday life and it would be wrong of our department not to acknowledge that.”
The class will run from May 17-21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is not exclusive to music education majors.