Music Preparatory Department Opens Registration

The Music Preparatory Department at Oklahoma Baptist University has opened enrollment for its 2008-2009 class schedule, which begins Aug. 28. Students from birth through adult in Shawnee and surrounding areas are invited to enroll in the department's classes.

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, String Ensemble and Kindermusik classes for babies and preschoolers. Choral experience is available through the Young Singers of Central Oklahoma. The choirs include Shawnee Honor, Concert Choir, Youth Chorale, Girls Select Chorus and Apprentice Choir.

Kindermusik Village meets on Mondays 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, as well as the infant-parent relationship.

Other Kindermusik Classes are offered for 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds. These classes provide musical experiences and activities through singing, moving, listening and playing simple rhythm instruments. The program helps preschoolers develop coordination, pre-reading and math skills. The classes, taught by Conchita Hansford, meet in the Early Childhood Music Suite in Ford Music Hall at 11 a.m. Mondays or at 10 a.m. Thursdays for the 2-year-old class, 10 a.m. Wednesdays for the 3-year-old group, and 11 a.m. Wednesdays for the 4- to 5-year-old group. A Thursday 5:15 p.m. class for 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds is taught by OBU senior student Hillary Anderson. Debbie Beeson teaches a class on Saturdays at 10 a.m. Both Anderson and Beeson are licensed Kindermusik instructors.

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 Tuesdays at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. in Ford Music Hall.

Keyboard Concepts, a class for second- and third-grade students interested in beginning piano study, meets on Tuesdays at 5 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 learn basic theory during the 30-minute lesson. Instructors Royce McLarry and Ty Myers both have earned master's degrees. Stephanie Lemoine offers cello lessons.

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.

Adult Class Piano, designed for beginners, offers instruction in music notation, chord playing, technique and theory. Morning and evening classes are offered.

Shawnee Honor Choir, directed by Conchita Hansford and in its 26th year, is an auditioned group of fourth- through sixth-graders. Children perform music ranging from simple unison songs to more challenging two- and three-part choral treble literature. The choir performs annually in 12 area schools. It presents two formal public concerts and has performed four times as the honor group for the Oklahoma Music Educators Association state convention in Tulsa. It meets on Tuesdays from 3:30-5:15 p.m.

Concert Choir, directed by Dr. Darla Eshelman, provides singing experiences to advanced middle/junior high treble voices beginning at age 12. Recent performance highlights include 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 Tuesdays from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Select Girls Chorus, the newest choir conducted by Mindy Beeson and composed of auditioned high school advanced girls voices, meets on Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m.

Youth Chorale is designed to continue providing opportunity for singing experiences that enhance musical growth. The Youth Chorale performs two on-campus concerts jointly with the other YSCO choirs each fall and spring. The choir has performed in Branson and for the Oklahoma Music Educators Association State Convention in Tulsa. The choir meets on Tuesday evenings from 5-7 p.m.

Apprentice Choir is for non-auditioned singers ages seven and up, and is offered to help children develop their voices and prepare them for future choir success. The class meets on Tuesday from 4-5 p.m. and is conducted by Celesta Dalrymple.

For more information and registration, contact Conchita Hansford, director of the OBU Music Preparatory Department, at (405) 878-2319 or To register online, visit the web site at