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University of VIrginia Faculty Members Present 'Music and Mind' For Western Albemarle High School Students

April 27, 1999 -- Does music improve the mind? On Thursday, May 6, University of Virginia pianist Mary Kathleen Ernst and violinist Svend Ronning will present "Music and Mind," the last of four programs designed to integrate music more fully into the high school curriculum.

Using the music of Mozart, the two faculty members in the McIntire Department of Music will explore the composerŐs life and discuss studies that demonstrate the effect his music has on the brain's learning capacity. The duo will perform works including a violin concerto and sonatas for violin and piano. The contemporary film "Star Wars" and Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute" will be discussed to compare them in structure, plot and character development. Classical musical forms will be explored for comparisons to expository writing.

After the performance, students in English, science, and history will be given research projects integrating music with their studies. For example, students in science will experiment with how listening to 15 minutes of Mozart before taking a quiz or memorizing a series of numbers affects the outcome. Students in English will listen to a classical overture and compose a storyline.

The "Music and Mind" project was conceived and designed by Ernst and Allen Freeman, head of services for gifted students at Western Albemarle High School. Their objective is to integrate music into the Standards of Learning curriculum and build support for the performing arts in the community through exposure and interaction with professional artists.

Funded by a grant from the Frederick Upton Foundation, the year-long program has exposed students to aspects of American history through jazz, to world history through African music and dance, to the computer age and the classical forms of the 18th century. Featured performers from the McIntire Department of Music included the Freebridge Jazz Quintet led by John D'Earth, African scholar Michelle Kisliuk, and Virginia Center for Computer Music director Dave Topper.

Contact: Jane Ford, (804) 924-4298.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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