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U.Va. Music Faculty Helps Enhance High School Curriculum

Nov. 3, 1999 -- Western Albemarle High School students will get a taste of Africa on Friday, Nov. 12, when Michelle Kisliuk, a University of Virginia professor of ethnomusicology, performs traditional West African rhythm and dance movements.

Kisliuk's presentation is the first in a series of programs for "Music and Mind," an outreach project designed to enhance the high school curriculum by combining the study of music and performance with high school courses. The project is a collaboration between U.Va. music faculty and the gifted services program at Western Albemarle.

Kisliuk and her U.Va. students will present African rhythms, chants, drumming and dance movements for freshman World History classes. The program is designed to build on course content.

U.Va. professor Mary Kathleen Ernst and Allen Freeman, coordinator of gifted services at Western Albemarle, began "Music and Mind" last year. Members of the U.Va. and Western Albemarle faculties work together to provide teaching materials, hands-on research and live performances. Students also receive videotapes and recordings to broaden their understanding of music-related topics.

U.Va.'s McIntire Department of Music received a $3,500 grant for "Music and Mind" from the Frederick S. Upton Foundation of St. Joseph, Mich., a private, non-profit foundation dedicated to children and education. This the second year the foundation has funded the program.

On Dec. 9, the Guild Trio will perform music by American composer Charles Ives for Western Albemarle's senior class at Old Cabell Hall. More programs are planned for the spring, including presentations by the Free Bridge Jazz Quintet and Ernst, a pianist.

Teachers from the two institutions recognize the important role music has played in world events and its effects across broad disciplines. Ernst and Freeman hope to expand "Music and Mind" to include other high schools and eventually ensure the integration of music into local curricula.

For more information, contact Mary Kathleen Ernst at (804) 293-4860.

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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