Music Alumna Featured in National Journal
Marybeth Kurnat, a 2011 graduate of the NIU School of Music, is featured in the latest issue of Teaching Music, the journal of the National Association for Music Education.
The article, entitled "Combining Middle and High School Ensembles," focuses on the challenges music teachers face when working with small groups, sometimes with incomplete instrumentation, from smaller sized schools. Marybeth teaches in Poplar Grove, Illinois, at North Boone High School and North Boone Middle School/Upper Elementary. While there are surely thousands of music educators in school music programs with similar ensemble-size challenges, Marybeth was the sole music educator interviewed for the article.
Based on her experience and among the several words of wisdom Marybeth imparts, she states that combining middle schoolers with high schoolers into one larger concert band "...gets middle schoolers excited about high school band, which lowers the ever-feared [grade] 8-to-9 threshold attrition, and it keeps the high school students engaged. It's a win-win situation."