Auburn University’s music and foreign language programs have expanded and opened more opportunities for grade school students to apply and join.

The Project

Auburn Universities music project is aimed at teaching children between the age of 3 and 5 in orchestral music, mainly string. The program is set to expand and introduce brass and percussions as well. Guy Harrison, the assistant professor of the music project, has stated that “There aren’t many public school string programs in Alabama and we want to give our students as much teaching experience as possible prior to moving out to their internships.”

The project is designed to teach children of a very young age how to play musical instruments as well as university students with undergraduate students teaching in the project themselves. Guy Harrison also states that “They meet with me on a regular basis, and we discuss together each student, how they’re doing and how they can improve.”

“Like Sponges”

Tanja Redd, a coordinator for Auburn’s Center for Educational Outreach and Engagement, has stated that children absorb knowledge and learn much better at a young age, with their minds absorbing everything they see, hear and interact with. “Children are sponges. They’re clean slates.” The project aims to help students for careers globally by refining their language skills and cultural awareness to aid them in their future careers with the knowledge and skills they’ve developed over the years.

Tanja Redd has also stated that “We have a large international presence here, with all the Korean and German companies we have in the area. Plus, as a college town, we have a lot of diversity. It’s really important that our home-grown Auburn folks send their kids to a class of kids from other cultures. When you have an average American fifth-grader sitting in Spanish class with a Chinese fifth-grader who is also learning Spanish, you get a great blend of cultures.”

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