The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

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A huge thank you goes out to our second evening concert at Emens Auditorium, the Atlantic Brass Quintet!
The students at the MFA Summer Symposium get to experience several genres of music all week long. The Atlantic Brass Quintet definitely did not disappoint with their variety of classical and jazz. The concert itself was an educational opportunity, with the quintet talking about the background of the pieces they were performing.
But one of the best parts of the concert had to of been when two of our very own Jazz Division students joined the Atlantic Brass Quintet onstage! Both of these students showcased their incredible talent in an auditorium filled with their peers, and we couldn't be more proud!
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It was definitely a fantastic concert, and we thank the Atlantic Brass Quintet (and our two Jazz Division saxophonists) for sharing their talents with us!
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

MFA Summer Symposium Photo Stream: Day 2

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Check out the photos from the second day of full-week Summer Symposium!
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

First Day of Camp

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The first day began at 8am as the hundreds of campers arrived for registration! Camp SWAGs and MFA Staff worked together to ensure that the over 1,000 campers had all that they needed to make the week a success. Leadership Weekend students continued the MFA tradition of welcoming campers with a tunnel of raucous applause and camp spirit.
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After registration and placement auditions were over, the students headed over to Emens Auditorium for the opening session. The opening session featured the color guard staff performing a routine to the hit song “Let It Go.” The students cheered them on as they tossed rifles, sabers, and flags and successfully caught them. Norm Reubling, camp director, then came on stage to give the students information they needed and to get them excited for the week ahead.
The day ended with the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition winners giving an incredible performance back on the Emens Auditorium stage. The students were awed by the amazing performers that are just a couple of years older than they are.
As the day came to a close the students made their way back to their dorms tired, but excited for what lies ahead of them for the rest of the week!
Check out the photos from the first day of full-week Summer Symposium!
If the photo stream above is not viewable for you, try this link:
The first event in the Evening Concert Series at the MFA Summer Symposium was the Yamaha Young Performing Artists (YYPA). This concert featured seven young performers from ages 18 to 21 that played both jazz and classical music.
The performers included a jazz saxophonist, jazz trumpet player, clarinetist, tuba player, jazz vibraphone player, pianist, and a violinist. The wide variety of instruments and types of music played made the concert appeal to all the different tracks that students are participating in at the Summer Symposium.
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This concert also featured guest artist Dana Leong, a well known composer, cellist, and trombonist. He was so thrilled by the amount of energy the students brought forth throughout the concert and he stated, “I love the energy that you are bringing! It shows how much passion you have for this art.” Dana was able to really light up the audience with his upbeat playing. He had the audience clapping, snapping, cheering, and dancing along to his compositions.
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The Summer Symposium students had such a positive experience at this concert and were really blown away by the amount of talent these young musicians possess. They have been inspired to continue working hard in music so that one day, they could be up on that stage performing!

In the servant leadership principles taught at the MFA Summer Symposium, leading by example and service to others are core tenets. I, and Music for All, believe that music can truly change the world, and providing a musical experience to others is just one way to do that. We are grateful that our strategic partner, the National Association for Music Education, provides opportunities for service in music for high school students through Tri-M Chapters nationwide. In partnership with MFA Educational Consultant Fran Kick, Lane Velayo and the Indiana Music Education Association (IMEA) and Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser, close to 70 students took part in special Tri-M sessions during the Leadership Weekend Experience. The sessions built upon the leadership lessons honed at the Leadership Weekend and provided a framework for leadership training.

trim1IMEA Executive Director Lane Velayo speaks to students in the Tri-M Session

If you’re like me during high school and college, you may be wondering: “What is Tri-M”? Tri-M was founded in 1936 as “Modern Music Masters” and became a program on the National Association for Music Education in 1983. Tri-M Chapters recognize musical and academic achievement among over 6,200 high school students today, additionally providing valuable leadership and service opportunities. In an introductory session with Fran Kick, we learned about the service component of Tri-M and students brainstormed how they could build or improve music service projects in their school. Students had the chance to view and discuss examples of service through music, including the inspiring story of the Franklin H.S. Band providing capes for kids in the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital during their trip to Indianapolis for the Grand National Championships.

trim3Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser and Tri-M Session participants

Even students who did not have Tri-M chapters at their school attended the sessions, as any student can individually or as a collection provide service through music. Schools across the country participate in service projects, no matter their participation in Tri-M. From impromptu performances in an assisted living facility to volunteering at ice cream socials, giving back the community that supported the music program so well was incredibly rewarding.

trim2In a session on Monday morning, students in the Tri-M session received lifelong lessons in communication and motivation in leadership. Students practiced all types of communication: verbal, visual, tactile and intuitive and demonstrated the varying types of motivation including competition, cooperation and creation. Dr. Tim’s powerful take away – “Great leaders create what isn’t” – rang clearly for the group of leaders.

The students them took part in a team –building exercise with Frank Crockett, which displayed the power of careful planning and the importance of engaging all group members to push for their best. The exercise, “key punch” involves participants consecutively hitting a number within an area, but only one person can be within the area at a time. With more numbers than participants and very limited time, the groups worked hard to be successful. While only group was able to achieve the 18-second time limit, each group took away important lessons that will transfer well to build or engage existing Tri-M organizations. Participants learned the importance of effective verbal and nonverbal communication and how essential group encouragement is to success.

trim4Students practice the "key punch" excercise

With engaging sessions that provided applicable takeaways to their own Tri_M or music program, the participating students are more equipped and motivated to make a difference in their own music program and community. Just by sitting in on many of the sessions, I am ready to take action! Following the Symposium, Lane Velayo, Executive Director of IMEA, will be reporting on the ideas and feedback in Washington, D.C. at a national workshop with each of the state music education associations. Already, the students are making difference in Tri-M through music leadership.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Leadership Weekend Day 2 Photo Stream

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Check out the photos from the second day of the Leadership Weekend Experience!
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Being new to the MFA team, this was the first time I have had the opportunity to experience anything at the Summer Symposium. To me, Leadership Weekend Experience is something that any musician can benefit from. The students had the opportunity to learn about leadership, teamwork, cooperation, strategy, and communication through the various activities they participated in throughout the weekend.
On the first night of Leadership Weekend Experience, I went to a breakout session that was taught by Frank Crockett. In this session, Crockett focused a lot around trust and safety. They began by doing simple trust falls in groups of threes and progressed into more complex trust exercises. In the most complex exercise, they had groups of twelve students in a circle with one person in the middle. The students in the circle passed around the person in the middle as they held a very stiff stance. Eventually, the student in the middle was easily dropped down to the ground and lifted up in the air.
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Throughout this exercise, Crockett really emphasized the fact that the person in the middle needed to feel safe. “Trust is not easy,” he said, “so it is the job of the team to make that person feel safe.” To make the environment feel even safer, the students had a call and response system that needed to be followed before the activity could begin. This is how it went:

“Spotters ready?”
“Permission to fall?”
“Fall on.”

This system ensured that everyone in the group was ready and focused on the task at hand.
After this activity was completed, the students moved to a new area with an even bigger task at hand. This activity was called the Spider Web and, basically, the students had to get everyone in their group through a section of the web without knocking the spider on top to the ground. They could only use each hole once and were not allowed to alter the size of the holes in any way. Some of those holes were six feet up in the air! The students began by strategizing and coming up with a plan of action, then began attempting to finish the task.
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I was seriously amazed with what these students were able to accomplish. They listened attentively, followed all instructions, and worked together to complete the task, which I found to be extremely difficult.

On the second day of Leadership Weekend Experience, I hit the road and traveled to Taylor University where veteran students were visiting to take the plunge into the high and low ropes challenge course.
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Here, the students had the opportunity to take part in the high ropes course of obstacles, a zip line, the flying squirrel, and many stations of activities throughout the campus. As I watched a group of students tackle the high ropes course, I was pleased to see how encouraging everyone was. When anyone was struggling in the course, there were five people on the ground shouting words of encouragement and advice to help them complete the task. Many students expressed once they finished how scary it was, but all the encouragement kept them going.
Zip line high ropes
After I watched students tackle the high ropes for a while, I ventured around campus to see what types of other activities were going on. Many of the students were doing team-building activities together, but one station that really stuck out to me was the workshop with Tom Pompei. Tom Pompei is a band director and horse rancher from Centerville, OH. In his workshop, he used his horse, Spark, to teach the students about love, language, and leadership.
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During this session Pompei stated, “A good teacher gives you information you need, but an outstanding teacher will let you figure out the rest on your own.” I think this is a very important part of education because so many students rely on the teacher to tell them everything. This doesn’t set up students for success in their future endeavors, so I found this statement to be extremely valid in teaching.
Leadership Weekend Experience really is a great opportunity for all musicians to take advantage of. I know that every single participant will take so much information back to their high schools and help their music programs grown even stronger than they already are.

On Saturday, close to 500 hundred students arrived at Ball State University to begin the Leadership Weekend Experience! Students began with an opening session featuring Fran Kick, moved on to break-out sessions and small group sessions and finished the evening with a rousing keynote from Dr. Tim. Following the keynote, students were treated to a surprise party to cap off an exciting day! 

Students received Leadership Weekend T-Shirts and markers and began signing each other's shirts while dancing to tunes spun by DJ Blitz (aka MFA Senior Marketing Coordinator Erin Fortune). By signing these T-shirts, students are commemorating their Leadership Weekend experience and creating lasting connections with fellow campers. 





















The Leadership Weekend Party is a long tradition at the Summer Symposium, and while the returning Leadership students likely remember the party from previous years, it was a complete surprise to first-year attendees. The SWAG Team and DTAs (Directors' Track Assistants) chaperoned the party, and even got in on some of the dancing! 





















At the end of the party, campers left to their dorms for the evening with new leadership skills, t-shirts full of signatures and inspiring notes and memories that the students will keep for a long time.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Leadership Weekend Day 1 Photo Stream

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Check out the photos from the first day of the Leadership Weekend Experience!

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