Turning trash into musical treasures

Dr. Elizabeth Tracy’s Music and Liberal Arts course is designed to empower students to be community leaders and communicators through music. On April 28 and 29, the students provided some great community engagement opportunities.

For their final projects, the nine students taking the course facilitated three different community music events. 

“In this field, most music majors will wear many hats and do many things – it’s important that we take the time to enhance that skill set while they’re here,” Elizabeth explains. These creative projects will help prepare students to take charge in outreach and engagement in their future careers.

The class is divided into three groups, each targeting a different community one can find here in Tiffin, with a different community event.

The first group’s event was open to Heidelberg students. On Thursday in The University Commons, the group hosted a recycling event, allowing students to build instruments out of recycled materials. From percussion to possible strings, students hung out and enjoyed creating music together.

The second group is working on a similar event, but targeted toward the youth of Seneca County. Children in the community, and their parents, were invited to come to Pancoast Recital Hall inside Brenneman Music Hall at 6:30 p.m. where the class hosted “Junk Jam.” Junk Jam was an opportunity for children to build instruments out of “trash,” and learn about music with our budding community leaders.

The last group had an entirely different event planned. While not open to the public, the students visited Autumnwood Care Center, a local nursing home, on Friday (April 29). There, the students performed and engaged the residents of Autumnwood with trivia and sing-alongs. The students focused on the musical stylings that would have been popular when the residents were young – a large range, as residents at Autumnwood can be anywhere from 60 to 90 years old.

—by Em Swain '22

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