DPU School of Music partnering with GCSC to provide free violins to fourth-graders
The DePauw University School of Music recently partnered with the Greencastle Community School Corporation to provide a free violin and free string instruction to every fourth-grader in Greencastle.
If the prototype is successful, it is hoped that it can spread to all of Putnam County, DePauw officials said.
Students at Tzouanakis Elementary will be given a free violin to play for 10 class meetings, starting this month.
Music teacher Carrie Hamilton will be joined by string specialist Shannon Crow for lessons and in-class instruction.
Interested students may continue with group meetings on Thursdays after school (at Tzouanakis) for an hour with Ed Staubach, a former middle school and high school orchestra teacher, who is currently teaching string techniques at DePauw.
After all the fourth-graders have had a chance for 10 free lessons, those who wish to continue on with the instrument in January will meet once a week on Tuesdays during music class with Crow and on Thursdays after school at Tzouanakis with Staubach.
Continuing students who can afford to rent will be given their own instrument, allowing the free violins to be passed to the next round of beginning students. Those who cannot afford to rent their instrument can keep it free of charge, as long as they remain enrolled.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Greencastle public schools in yet another innovative way," DPU School of Music Dean Mark McCoy said. "Music is such a vital part of young people's lives, and this will make it possible for fourth-graders in Greencastle to learn the joy of making their own music."
Schools officials are equally excited
"Greencastle Community Schools is deeply committed to providing our students with fine arts education and cultural experiences, and our partnership with the DePauw School of Music supports that vision," GCSC Superintendent Dawn Puckett said. "Through the strings program, our young students will experience music instruction in a fresh and impactful way."
Children who love the instrument may continue with private, one-on-one instruction at Music on the Square. They also have the option of transitioning to lessons on a different string instrument.
The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority has made the following tax credits available to anyone who pays Indiana state taxes, giving community members the opportunity to impact this effort profoundly, while also gaining significant tax credits and benefits. All donors to this effort may receive up to 75 percent of their gift back in tax relief. See your tax adviser for guidance.
For additional details about the program, contact Ed Staubach (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Mark Rabideau, director of the DePauw School of Music's 21st-Century Musician Initiative (732-850-2300).