» By ERICKA CONLEY – econley@my.apsu.edu

APSU recently started a new program called “The Children’s Arts Interaction Program,” created by Eric Branscome, coordinator of Music Education and assistant professor of Music.

“It was created to provide the highest quality music and art enrichment in a child-centered environment that encourages participation, stimulates creativity and focuses on fun,” Branscome said. “We do not strive to turn young children into Beethovens or Rembrandts. It is simply our desire to increase each child’s awareness and enjoyment of the arts and to instill in each child a desire to continue artistic involvement for a lifetime.”

The program is geared towards children in preschool and early-elementary school. The program includes music, singing and other activities. In addition to teaching and motivating children in the area of arts and music, the Children’s Arts Interaction program allows music and art education students to gain experience working with children.

Activities are based on ideas formed by the Montgomery County library staff. Jennifer Snyder, assistant professor of Art, coordinated the event. Snyder also works together with Branscome, in cooperation with the Children’s Library staff at the Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library, to coordinate the theme or topic of each month’s activities.

From there, music and art education majors work with faculty to design and implement related music and art activities.

Many schools and daycare centers do not provide programs which teach children music.

This program will help children learn the fundamentals of music and allow them to express themselves musically.

The first program was held on Tuesday, Feb. 7, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m and included about 100 preschool and elementary school children and their parents.

The program included a brief performance by members of the APSU Phi Mu Alpha Barbershop Quartet composed of Music Education majors Henry Rives, Kardero Jefferies, Brandon Reynolds and T.J. Lawrence.

There was also a “song time” led by Branscome and assisted by Kortney Knight, senior Music Education major, and an art activity led by members of the APSU chapter of the National Art Education Association composed of Sabrina Papesca, Bobby King, Melanie Perry and Melisha Hillenburg.

The next programs will be held at the Clarksville-Montgomery County Library at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, Tuesday, April 10 and Tuesday, May 8.
It is free and all children are encouraged to attend. TAS