VanIwaarden discovers second childhood when teaching music

(03-16-2009)

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Sparking an appreciation for music in Trinity Lutheran School students is a satisfying experience for Halie VanIwaarden, a music education and performance major at Adams State College.

At the school, she teaches three hours a week. "I love the children and it makes me feel like a kid too. It is very much what I want to do with the rest of my life." In the fall 2008 she worked with the students learning songs for their Christmas performance. Since 2009, she introduced them to instruments, how they sound and what family they belong to. As part of the initiation she had fellow Adams State music students come in and play the instrument the children were studying. "They loved the tuba." Now she will work with the children on learning the music for their spring concert.

VanIwaarden's music education professor, Dr. Tracy Doyle said she really enjoys having VanIwaarden in her music education classes. "Halie is currently teaching elementary music, so she brings her own experience to the table, in addition to being hungry for knowledge that she can apply in her classroom."

The Trinity Lutheran School kindergarten teachers, Joy Lucero and Abby Lucero, said the children enjoy their music lessons. "I think it is exciting that several days a week my kindergarteners ask if they get to go to music class. They truly look forward to their time with Ms. Halie," Joy said. Abby said, "Halie makes the music fun for the children." The director of the school, Mary Connor said VanIwaarden has been a wonderful addition to the school. "I received many positive comments from parents after our Christmas concert. The students love Halie."

Beginning at the age on nine, VanIwaarden took piano lessons from Sharon Meyer. Her enjoyment of music grew. Currently, she is a member of 68 West, the A Capella jazz ensemble, and the Chamber and Concert Choirs at Adams State. "I really like 68 West, it is a more advanced ensemble making it more challenging and at the same time it is a really fun group."

VanIwaarden is taking 18 credit hours this semester and besides her work at Trinity Lutheran also has three on-campus jobs. She admitted to not always being an overachiever, claiming in high school she was "not up to par." However, she said Adams State has been a huge impact on her life. "I am a better person and I feel good about what I am doing."

To continue to attract quality students, such as VanIwaarden, the Adams State College Music Department is hosting "A Noteworthy Evening" at April 5 in the Luther Bean Museum to raise money for a music scholarship endowment. For information call 719-587-7621.

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By Linda Relyea