Elementary schools students learn value of music from the Marching Tar Heels

Fifth-grade students at Ephesus Elementary School learned about the fundamentals of music when the Marching Tar Heels came to their school to teach music lessons.

The marching band visited four of Patty Penrose-Cashman’s music classes and taught them about different instruments and how they pertain to the marching band as a whole.

Hannah Macie, a senior journalism major who plays the baritone, said the program was created because of the need for a service project for the Music Greek life on campus. After speaking to El Fisseha, administor for UNC Bands, plans for the program began.

“The key is to get (the kids) to sign up for band and get them excited about that,” Macie said.

Fisseha, whose kids go to school at Ephesus Elementary School, said she spoke to Penrose-Cashman about the opportunity for her students to teach the fifth graders.

“The goal of the program was to get kids excited about music, band specifically and I think we did that,” Fisseha said.

Penrose-Cashman said this was a great opportunity to switch from a concrete music class to a more hands-on experience.

“This was an excellent experience for our students to take what they have learned in music class and then to be able to apply it directly to questions for (the band),” Penrose-Cashman said.

Katie Rose Hand, a sophomore music performance and Spanish major who plays the trombone, said the band visited four classes of around 20 kids. They played the beginning of their pregame show and let students get an up-close experience with each instrument in small groups.

“They were wide-eyed with excitement the whole time and they loved getting to hold all the instruments,” Hand said.

Macie said the kids were excited to see the UNC students and the new instruments. She said she thought it was important that college students were the ones who came to the school to teach the fifth graders about music.

“It’s so worth it,” Macie said. “You know with the kids, you put the instrument in their hands and you could just see them getting excited, their faces light up.”

Fisseha said she spoke to parents of the fifth-grade students who were happy with the program. There was also a survey taken after the program and the results were very positive.

Penrose-Cashman said she has already talked to Fisseha about continuing the program.

“I think it had a really great impact on (the students) and I think it’s going to inspire them to keep doing music” Penrose-Cashman said.

Hand said the UNC students learned the importance of sharing what they love.

“What I took away from it was the importance of sharing what you love — getting other people to enjoy it,” Hand said.

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