December 2010

The magazine of Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas.

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Page 17 of 35

GROWING & GIVING Music lovers help children discover their talents Bernie Martinez watches her 7-year-old son, Daniel, play the violin. offerings, but provides scholarships for students Te program not only fills the gap in for lessons. Te program also provides rented instruments fitted to each child by the Blackerby Violin Shop in Austin. Children in the program are learning lessons beyond the strings of the violin. “Daniel seems more mature because he has more responsibilities to practice and take care of his violin,” says Martinez. Daniel takes the initiative to practice three times each week on his own—and it shows. “He plays nice and loud. He has a good confident sound,” says Julia Immel, CMA violin instructor. “I am trying to get them to play for each other and their parents as much as possible. Performance skills develop confidence and concentration, one of the many benefits of learning the violin.” In addition to showing off to big and brother A tiny violin rests in the small hands of wide-eyed Daniel Martinez. At 7 years old, he’s already mastered “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and plays each note confidently, sliding the bow across the strings with ease. Applause follows the melody. Daniel smiles ear to ear at his accomplishment. His mother beams with pride. Big brother Christopher seems impressed. “He’s always so excited to do things his big brother can’t do,” the boys’ mother, Bernie Martinez, admits. Christopher, 12, plays the saxophone and the piano. Daniel is taking violin lessons through the new Lindenbaum Suzuki Outreach Program launched this year by the Texas Lutheran University / Mid-Texas Symphony Community Music Academy (CMA). Martinez intended to start Daniel in music lessons this year and when CMA sent home flyers with Navarro Elementary students, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Te inaugural class is made up of the first 10 students to respond to the flyer. CMA Director Laurie Jenschke and TLU School of Music Director Dr. Douglas Boyer developed the idea for the program based on the wishes outlined in 18 TEXAS LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY the Lindenbaum family’s endowment leſt to the TLU School of Music. Both Arthur and Shirley Lindenbaum were passionate about encouraging children interested in classical music. Tey understood the importance of starting music lessons early in childhood, well before they reach college, to properly foster talent. Familiar with the Suzuki method, Shirley suggested a program emphasizing the technique. Te Lindenbaums hoped to encourage children to pursue their passions and unlock possibilities. “Tis program gives Daniel an advantage by opening up other avenues to him other than sports,” says Martinez. At smaller schools, like Navarro Elementary, the arts are disappearing, leaving students with few extra-curricular options beyond athletics. serenading his mother, Daniel is looking forward to performing for his father, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force who has been deployed since January 2010. “Te violin lessons are a way of occupying his time productively,” says Martinez. And with Daniel’s dedication to practicing, he’ll be a regular maestro when his father returns in August 2011. Looking ahead, CMA plans to add two more beginning classes in Seguin ISD next fall, and a second level class at Navarro. Grants to help purchase 60 violins are also in the works. “Tis is all due to the Lindenbaum’s generous donation,” says Jenschke. “We hope that there will be others who believe in this growing program and want to help through financial support so we can expand to the surrounding communities.”

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