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Early Music in School


Early Music In the Schools (EMIS) brings programs to schools in underserved counties in south-central Indiana.  Utilizing multiple approaches, such as performances, classroom teaching, and dane instruction, EMIM strives to make history and historical music come alive for students.   Music is played on reproductions of original instruments and presented within the context of art, society and lifestyles of the distant past.   Students engage in the singing, dancing, and even acting.

Studies repeatedly show that the arts are essential for the emotional, physical and intellectual health of any society on both individual and communal levels. It has also been shown that when the arts are experienced in an interdisciplinary fashion, outcomes are deeper and more effective.

It is our belief that all students should have the opportunity to experience meaningful and high quality music and art, as music and art can transcend political, ideological and religious beliefs and is vital in the molding of children’s imagination and individuality as well as a greater sense of community.


 Current Programs:

Shakespeare’s Ear (link to number 2 below)   was aunched in 2009, completing 4 tours (twenty performances) in Brown, Greene, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, and Owen county schools and libraries.  EMIM has worked closely with educators, including Music Ed. Faculty at Indiana University, to design and develop this program.  EMIM also works closely with classroom teachers throughout the program, gauging effectiveness and maintaining flexibility as the program develops.


EMIM currently presents a program called Shakespeare’s Ear.  Program has 3 components, each complete to itself but also complementary:

A.  *2-week introductory residency for all 5th-6th graders where basic instruction in history/music/dance/theater takes place in the classrooms, twice/week.  Students would learn simple to more complex Elizabethan tunes, ballads and catches (rounds), Dance instruction would include the pavan and jig, as well as basic body awareness in conjunction with social observations of carriage and physical interaction of the time. Instruction in Elizabethan language, acting and the theatre as well as the opportunity to engage in brief acting episodes will be offered.  Finally, introduction to social customs, Elizabethan history in the context of the Renaissance, and musical customs (including the role of child musicians) will form the history and culture portion

B.  *Performance of Shakespeare’s Ear by professional performers for the students. .   Shakespeare’s Ear is a one-hour show given from the perspective of William Shakespeare himself in his journey from Stratford to London to become a playwright.  He talks about the music of language, 20130523_tomyeiser-0634the sounds and language that influence him and the music he hears.  Music from the plays themselves is performed on voice, viols, virginals and recorder. Students sing, dance and even engage in a “chant war.” Funding for these show was provided by the Indiana Arts Council, as well as by private donors.

C. *Pilot course for rest of semester where students lead their own research projects in      instruments/dance/declamation/theater/history/costume making/Elizabethan language/stage set.  Students perform or create an artistic expression of their learning at the end of semester.

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