Students at Bennett Elementary welcomed three very special guests last week, as musicians from the Texas Tech University String Project came to teach them about instruments and play music for them.
Students sat entranced by the sounds of the strings and heard songs from various genres of music. In between songs, the musicians taught the students the names of the instruments and what parts each contained.
The TTU String Project was founded in January 2001 with two purposes. One, to provide low cost beginning string instruction to children in the Lubbock area and two, to provide intensive, guided teaching experience to undergraduate and graduate music students who plan to make string education a part of their career.
“I love having the opportunity to watch the connections between our university staff and our Lubbock-area students grow!” said Dr. Blair Williams, Ph.D., Director of the TTU String Project. “I love sharing my passion for teaching and for playing the string instruments with students of all ages!”
Instruction is provided by a team of undergraduate and graduate music majors and by Master Teachers who supervise the entire curriculum. Williams, assistant professor of string music education at Texas Tech University, serves as the director of the program. Professor Clara Zahler, professor of practice at Texas Tech University, serves as the lead master teacher.
“Students learn a new skill in playing the instrument, but they also learn life skills such as time management in scheduling home practice and classes,” said Williams. “They learn team work while participating in classes together with other students. They learn coordination (physical, mental, aural, and visual) while playing, listening, and reading the symbols on the printed music.”
By participating in the program, students are able to transfer skills from the classroom (math, science, social studies, reading literacy, physical education, and so many others) into practice to play the instrument.