Oklahoma Baptist University

Music Preparatory Department Opens Registration

Conchita Hansford, director of OBUís Music Preparatory Department, plays a drum with children in her three-year-old Kindermusik class.

Registration is now open for aspiring musicians of all ages to join OBU’s Music Preparatory Department for the 2011-12 academic year, announced Conchita Hansford, director of the program.

OBU’s Music Preparatory Department began in 1985 and offers many musical opportunities to students, ages birth through adult, in Shawnee and surrounding areas. Under the umbrella of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts, the department offers private piano, voice, guitar, string, wind and percussion instrument instruction, as well as Keyboard Readiness, Keyboard Concepts, Art classes and Kindermusik classes for babies and preschoolers. A choral experience is available through the Young Singers of Central Oklahoma. The choirs included are Shawnee Honor Choir, Concert Choir and Discovery Singers. Kindermusik Village meets on Monday at 10 a.m. It is designed for newborns to children 18 months old and focuses on the developmental benefits of music and movement for the child. The most exciting hallmark is its focus on the very special infant-parent relationship.

Other Kindermusik Classes are offered for 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds. These classes provide a wide range of fun musical experiences and activities through singing, moving, listening and playing simple rhythm instruments. The program helps develop coordination, crossing the mid-line, and even pre-reading and math skills. Preschoolers develop their verbal, motor and social skills through participation in many musical activities. The classes, taught by Conchita Hansford, meet in the Early Childhood Music Suite in Ford Music Hall at 11 a.m. Monday or at 10:15 a.m. Thursday for the 2-year-old class, 10 a.m. Wednesday for the 3-year-old group, and 11 a.m. Wednesday for the 4- to 5-year-old group. A Thursday 5:15 p.m. class for 3-, 4- and 5-year olds is also available.

Keyboard Readiness is a class for 5- and 6-year-old children interested in studying the piano. Students explore musical concepts including up/down, high/low, loud/soft and fast/slow and also learn note names and note values. Classes meet on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Ford Music Hall and are taught by Rachel Schmoyer.

Keyboard Concepts, a class for second- and third-grade students interested in beginning piano study, meets on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the electronic piano lab in Raley Chapel. Limited to eight students, it is designed to teach beginning piano and basic music theory.

String Instruction (violin and cello) utilizing a traditional approach combined with Suzuki materials is available. Students are also taught basic theory during the 30-minute lesson. Instructors are Ana Maria Wilson and Marat Gabdullin, violin and viola, and Philipp Gulidov, cello.

Elizabeth McCreight enjoys playing the bells in the baby Kindermusik class at OBU.

Private Lessons in piano, voice, guitar, string, wind and percussion instruments are provided to students on an ongoing basis to foster continued musical development. Lessons in a 30- or 45-minute format are available for all ages.

Art lessons and classes include a drawing course that will incorporate sketching and concepts for students ages 7-18 and an oil painting course for adults. Lance Kelly is the instructor.

Shawnee Honor Choir, directed by Hansford and in its 29th year, is an auditioned group of third- through seventh-graders from Shawnee and the surrounding area. Children perform a wide variety of music ranging from simple unison songs to the more challenging two- and three-part choral treble literature. The choir performs annually in 12 area schools and presents two formal public concerts. It meets on Tuesday afternoons from 3:30-5:15 p.m. and has performed five times as the honor group for the Oklahoma Music Educators Association State Convention in Tulsa.

Concert Choir is an auditioned ensemble designed to provide singing experiences to junior high and high school voices. Recent performance highlights have included the Organization of American Kodaly Educators National Conference in Virginia, the Oklahoma Music Educators Association State Convention in Tulsa and performances at the American Choral Directors National Convention in Los Angeles. The choir rehearses on Tuesday afternoons from 5-6:30 p.m. and is directed by Dr. Casey Gerber, OBU coordinator of music education.

Discovery Singers is for non-auditioned singers ages seven and up, and is offered to help children develop their voices and listening skills preparing them for future choir success. The class meets on Tuesday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. and is taught by Gerber.

To register online or for more information, click here.

For more information and registration, contact Conchita Hansford by phone at (405) 878-2319 (office) or (405) 273-2273 (home) or by e-mail at conchita.hansford@okbu.edu.