Young musicians to benefit from program

Lauren Crist

A youth music program will begin this weekend, allowing Kent State to connect with the community in a unique way.

The Preparatory School of Music, a music program for students ages six to 18, and the university have teamed up to reach out to young musicians. Kent resident Lucy Zaynor designed the program.

“What’s exciting about a program like this, is that it brings the talent from the university directly to the community on a one-on-one basis,” Zaynor said.

Students will come to Kent State’s School of Music for lessons in orchestra, piano, voice and music theory.

“What Lucy has envisioned, and what I find so appealing, is reaching out to underserved populations as well as students who have experience with strings,” said Denise Seachrist, interim director of the School of Music. “I think that’s part of our greater mission – to make not just education accessible to everyone, but to instill this understanding and love of music.”

Students will receive private lessons and interact with members of the Miami String Quartet and the Hausman Quartet.

“Children who participate in the program will collaborate with some of the area’s finest musicians,” Zaynor said.

Kent State graduate students will teach the string sections.

“I think there is a strength in graduate students,” Zaynor said. “They all have proven themselves through their undergrad as strong players.”

The program began as a preparatory program for piano with students in grades 7 to 12 participating in a 10-day workshop this past summer. It has grown now to include orchestra and voice sections, thus creating the Preparatory School of Music.

“If we can get them all up and running and foster and nurture them, that helps build this large umbrella to put all of them in,” Seachrist said.

The program also offers classes geared towards learning music through physical movement, games and exercises, as well as participation in small groups called chamber ensembles.

“Kent State is known for their chamber music,” Zaynor said. “We would like to build on their reputation and bring in more string players.”

Seachrist said she is enthusiastic about the program.

“We have this responsibility, we have this knowledge and this history,” Seachrist said, “and we are passing it on from one generation to the next, and we’re using our current students to do that, and I think that’s good for them in their own development.”

Contact College of the Arts reporter Lauren Crist at [email protected].