School systems in Alabama do not receive state funding for arts educators, which affects arts education throughout the state. As a result, schools like Loachapoka Elementary in Loachapoka, AL, which is five miles from Auburn’s campus, struggle to provide arts education to their students.
Currently there is no music teacher employed at Loachapoka Elementary, and our goal in Auburn's Department of Music Education is to bridge this gap.
This Tiger Giving Day, our goal is to raise $15,000 to provide Auburn's Music Education students with instruments to teach at Loachapoka Elementary School. The instruments will enhance the future educators’ understanding of teaching methods and provide outreach to the school and the community.
Music Education faculty and students regularly collaborate with Loachapoka schools each year in a program we developed together titled, "Learning to Teach Through Teaching to Learn." Beginning in their freshman year, our music education students work directly in the classroom with the students at Loachapoka Elementary to bring them arts education.
Through this collaboration, music education students develop into young educators who are excited about teaching music and who demonstrate an early and deep commitment to teaching. They learn to teach through working directly with students and with practicing classroom teachers. Specifically, early in their degree program (freshman spring and sophomore fall semesters), they plan and teach their own standards-based elementary-level music lessons.
The instruments purchased from Tiger Giving Day gifts will support both the musical development of the students in Loachapoka Elementary and Auburn's students’ knowledge and skills in teaching many kinds and styles of music. As they progress through the year, they will use ukuleles, slap-top cajons, world instruments, and dulcimer kits to help students connect to and learn music in many ways.
Each of these instruments can be played together in ensembles or individually. In addition, they each fit well into a creativity-focused curriculum that encourages students’ musical creativity.
"Being able to partner with Loachapoka has been such an important experience for us, and I’d like to think the kids would agree wholeheartedly,” said Music Education sophomore Brianna Jarvis. “They seemed so grateful to have the chance to have music in their classrooms. Music is such a comprehensive subject that almost any topic can be incorporated, but it feels fun. Having the opportunity to share what we love and give them exposure while also preparing us for the classroom has benefited everyone so greatly. With your help, this project has the potential to impact so many for years to come.”