The Partners in Music program creates the opportunity for young instrumentalists and prospective music teachers to make music together. Over six Wednesdays in the fall semester, fifth-grade students from State College Area School District and Our Lady of Victory School rehearse on Penn State's campus, conducted by senior music education majors. The rehearsals culminate in a concert at State College Area High School.
Begun as a pilot program in 2006, the partnership has grown to include three ensembles (two bands and one string orchestra) consisting of approximately 150 young instrumentalists each year. The students' teachers (Lisa Bevan, Carolyn Gardner, Monica Kenney, Mary Krohn-Smith, Steve Linnes, Leah Mueller, Sandy Muller, Matt Nelson, and Roy Schaeffer) volunteer their time to prepare students in lessons and attend rehearsals. The Penn State students gain valuable experience making music with children as part of classes taught by professors Linda Thornton and Robert Gardner.
Click here for a video documentary describing the Partners in Music program.