NDSU academy addresses shortage of music-lesson teachers, gives college students teaching experience
NDSU students are expanding music education in the community by offering vocal and instrumental lessons to children and adults.
This fall, NDSU’s music department partnered with Peace Lutheran Church in Fargo to launch the NDSU Music Academy, a not-for-profit organization that provides music lessons to people 4 years and older. Upper-level undergraduate and graduate music majors teach the lessons.
The academy has two primary purposes – increase the availability of music teachers in the area and provide valuable teaching experience to college students.
“We saw this as a way that we could help the community and expand music education,” said Sarah Prigge, a doctoral student studying piano, who helped start the academy.
“There are several private music teachers, but it seems like there’s never enough,” Prigge said. “We have some great teachers in our community, but they only have so much time to teach students.”
It also benefits the college students. “It gives students practical experience in teaching. A lot of our teachers in the graduate program have already had some teaching experience, but they haven’t been able to start their own studios because they don’t have anywhere to teach in town, so this gives them a location.”
Currently, the academy serves 23 students. The youngest is 5 years old, but Prigge says most students are in elementary school and junior high. Guitar, piano and voice lessons are offered so far.
However, starting spring semester 2012, the academy hopes to offer more instruments. “Any instrument students would like to pick, we’ll try to find a teacher for them,” Prigge said.
Lessons are $17 each, which is comparable to other teachers in town. “We tried to go around the community and figure out what other teachers were charging because we didn’t want to take business away from teachers already in the community,” Prigge said.
The money goes toward paying rent to Peace Lutheran Church (located east of NDSU on 12th Ave.), college students who welcome lesson-takers at the church and the teachers.
The goal is to expand the academy until they run out of space. They have 10 rooms available and are using two. “We could eventually serve several hundred,” Prigge said. She would like to see the academy offer music theory classes and start a children’s choir. “Eventually we would like to expand even more, we’re just slowly going to grow it with lessons first,” she said.
For more information on the academy, visit ndsumusicacademy.musicteachershelper.com/home