NDSU Music Academy provides community with music lessons, life skills
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 13:08
The NDSU Music Academy, a non-profit organization working with the NDSU Music Department, is preparing for another successful year of offering music lessons to both children and adults in the Fargo-Moorhead area. The types of lessons include piano, voice and guitar, as well as a few other instruments.
The music lessons will be taught by graduate and undergraduate students who want to gain more teaching experience by working one-on-one with students ranging in age from four years old to adults.
What began last year as a way to provide the community with more opportunities to take music lessons, the community’s response to the academy was overwhelming.
“We kind of started small just to see what the interest would be in a community music program,” Prigge said. “Before we had even done a lot of advertising we had a lot of people interested …so we knew there was a big need in the community.”
The demand for more music lessons was evident when the fall registration numbers had begun to trickle in more each day. “I think we will be bigger this year. By last spring we had 56 students and right now we’re sitting at about that number and we’re still getting quite a few calls,” she added.
The positive response this program received right away highlighted the need for more music teachers in the area. “There are just never enough music teachers,” Prigge said. “This has kind of provided a way for people to easily find music teachers.”
As well as benefiting the community with more music teachers, the Academy also benefits the graduate and undergraduate students by providing them with valuable teaching experience.
“This provides some of our graduate students and some of our undergraduate students teaching experience and then it also helps provide what the community needs, which are more music teachers,” Prigge said. “It’s hard to find teachers with a lot of openings.”
As the director, Prigge organizes scheduling and contacts between the teachers and the parents. The Academy would most likely not run as smoothly as it does without her dedication to the planning of this program.
“I think it’s been interesting to see how much, just in the NDSU community – whether it’s faculty themselves or children of the faculty -- seeing the interest in starting music lessons,” Prigge said.
She understands how important music is for developing student’s critical thinking and listening skills, as well as their creativity.
“It’s fun to see all of the students showing up for lessons, interacting with each other,” Prigge mentioned. “They’re able to be in a community of music students … So it kind of gives a neat group environment.”
Although this program is proving to be beneficial to this community, the growing numbers pose a challenge toward hiring enough students to teach in order to meet the demand.
“Finding students that have the time to teach has been one of biggest [challenges] … having enough teachers to fulfill the need,” Prigge said. “Music students, and all students, are busy.”
Sarah Lien is the mother of two elementary-aged piano students who have been taking lessons from the Academy’s staff since last year. A musician herself, Lien mentions how grateful she is to have students willing to teach her children, 8-year-old Anna and 6-year-old James, instead teaching them herself.
“I know it’s not easy to teach your own kids some things, and I’ve just been happy to provide them the opportunity to take lessons and not have to do it myself,” Lien said. “I think they listen better and respond better.”
The NDSU Music Academy wants to expand toward organizing music camps as well as offering a wider variety of musical instruments for lessons to its students in the future.
“It’s a place that they can go where they can be surrounded by music. It’s been pretty fun to expose them to that through the academy…It’s been a good routine for them to do once a week,” Lien explained.
To learn more about the NDSU Music Academy, as well as register for music lessons, you can go to ndsumusicacademy.musicteachershelper.com.