Music major creates programs for
By Jane Ford
by Peggy Harrison
Malerich, above, coupled her love of music with teaching,
and area middle-school students were the beneficiaries. Malerich
scripted music ed programs that were used by U.Va. performance
groups, such as the Virginia Gentlemen,below, who worked with
students this spring at an assembly at Walker Upper Elementary
Malerich has been playing piano since she was 5. But her passion
is music education.
like playing for fun. Its a hobby, said the fourth-year
music major. What I really like is seeing others perform
shared that passion by creating two music education programs for
area schools as part of an independent study project.
each program, she teamed U.Va.s strong tradition of volunteering
with a talented student performance group.
young kids really respond to college-age students, said Malerich,
who also coordinates the Community Arts Volunteers, a U.Va. student-run,
after-school arts program in area schools.
only saw good things coming out of it.
spring, the Virginia Gentlemen presented an a cappella performance
for about 300 fifth-graders at Walker Upper Elementary School.
Student members of U.Va.s Jazz Ensemble entertained seventh-graders
at Jack Jouett Middle School with a presentation that wowed the
students with their ability to improvise.
only was there music on stage, but Malerich also scripted the
events to encourage interaction between performers and audiences
and incorporated Standards of Learning requirements.
jumped out of their seats, eager to volunteer when the Virginia
Gentlemen asked for help with the vocal percussion of their rendition
The Jazz Ensemble exposed Jack Jouett students to a mini-history
lesson in jazz styles. The group played melody together but improvised
solo parts, emphasizing that in order to be able to create as
you go, you need to know a lot about music.
The fact that U.Va. does not have a music education program did
not deter Malerich from achieving her goal.
was a lot of freedom and opportunity to do what I wanted at U.Va.,
said Malerich. Its important to be as involved as
you can, to get the most out of being here.
addition to the requirements in her music major, Malerich took
courses in museums and educational psychology, plus classes in
the Curry School of Education.
work with the Piedmont Council of the Arts was a crash course
in arts administration.
came away with an important lesson, she said. Volunteers
are the key to success of many arts organizations.
in U.Va.s Department of Development for the Arts,
Malerich researched performing arts facilities, gathering information
for the planned performing arts center. There she learned that
each facility had an education department that served the community.
U.Va.s center is in the early planning stages, Malerich
decided it was a perfect time to start implementing a community
dont we utilize what we have now and set the stage for when
our facility and programs are in place? said Malerich. Its
a lofty goal, but there is a need and we have a lot to offer in
terms of student performing groups.