DePauw University School of Music September Residency Visit


This year, 5HE is taking part in a year long residency at the DePauw University School of Music in Greencastle, Indiana.  We're making four trips to Greencastle and the Putnam County, Indiana area to lead workshops, teach masterclasses, and connect with the members of the community to build Harvest, a concert experience that will be performed on Mother's Day -- May 11, 2014.  Inspiration and materials for the Harvest concert are being gathered from the Putnam County community.  We're interviewing community members, asking residents for stories about their homes, and working with local musicians and artists to create a performance that really brings everyone together: DePauw students, Greencastle residents, members of the Putnam County agricultural community, and more.  Here's a recap of our first visit to DePauw, which took place from September 13-14, 2013.     

Our first day in Greencastle started bright and early, with beautiful sunshine!  After spending a little time in the practice room, Melissa, Jenny, Drew, and Eric joined Mark McCoy, the dean of the school of music, in the recording studio to record an interview for an episode of the DePauw University School of Music podcast Music For Life.  Drew and Eric also played Edgar Meyer's Duo for violin and double bass for the podcast.

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After recording the podcast, Melissa and Eric presented our Putting Your Audience Center Stage workshop during the school of music's recital hour.

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We had lunch with music students and had a great time getting to know them!  Luckily, it was warm and sunny enough that we could enjoy lunch outside.  After lunch, Jenny, Drew, and Eric joined Professor Eric Edberg's Intro to Music Theory class.

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Class kicked off with an improv drum circle, and then our musicians talked about the paths they took from school to where they are now.  The class was filled with lots of great questions and discussion, and we were a little bummed when we ran out of time and had to go to our next class.  Debates in Early Romantic Music was next, and it was equally as awesome.  In this class, Melissa and Jenny talked about public speaking and speaking about music.  The students were charged with the task of coming up with a compelling introduction for pieces they know.

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After class we had a little bit of a break to sit down, put our feet up, and relax for a little bit.  Our final event of day 1 was to come together with dozens of Putnam County area musicians, artists, and educators to talk about ways we can work together to build the Harvest concert.  The whole day was incredibly inspiring, but it was really amazing to see so many brilliant minds come together and have conversations about how we can connect our art to the community.

Day two started just as bright and sunny, but there was a refreshing chill in the air.  Melissa and Jenny made a trip out to the Putnam County Community Foundation's board meeting.  Dean McCoy talked about the Harvest concert and 5HE's residency at DePauw, and then Melissa and Jenny played for the group.

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Saturday morning had one of the most exciting events of the visit -- the Greencastle Farmers' Market.  Our musicians were joined by student musicians, and we all performed on the back of a tractor wagon at the farmers' market.  In between pieces, we walked around, talked to members of the agricultural community and local artists at the market, and asked them to share their favorite memories of their home town with us.

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After the farmers' market, we had a delicious lunch in downtown Greencastle, and then we headed back to campus for more workshops with the students.  First up, Melissa and Eric led a workshop on Curriculum Integration in the Classroom.  This workshop included a plethora of information about 5HE's arts integrated residencies and One-Shot! performances.  Jenny and Drew joined the workshop to help demonstrate some of the exercises we use in the classroom to teach musical concepts to students of all ages.

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We took a quick break, and then jumped right in to performing Music Can Tell A Story, our music & storytelling One-Shot!, for the DePauw School of Music students exactly as we perform it for elementary school audiences.  After performing the One-Shot!, we spent some time talking about the script, music, and exercises so that groups of DePauw students could begin learning the show to present to schools around Putnam County.  We also gave them the homework of coming up with one new exercise to substitute into the performance to teach a different musical concept in a new way.

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To close out our first visit to DePauw, 5HE and the school of music students headed over to Starbucks to perform and collect more stories about Putnam County.  We had an incredible first visit to DePauw, and we can't wait to go back!  Keep an eye on our blog and Facebook page for more updates from DePauw!