January 26, 2012
By Anna Yee
PEORIA, Ill. – That's the sound of more than 10,000 music teachers, students and parents fine-tuning their skills this week.
This is the 28th year the Peoria Civic Center is hosting the Illinois Music Educators Association conference.
Even Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon chimed in, as Thursday's keynote speaker.
"It's not good enough to just know the math or the english or the science," said Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, (D-IL). "You have to be able to put it all together, and hopefully in a way that no one else has figured out how to do before. To be the next great inventor of something we haven't dreamed of yet, you need to have those creative skills, and music really fosters those creative skills."
"Music helps kids become lifelong learners," said Lynn Randolph.
She teaches music to more than 600 Washington students.
Randolph says unlike other music teachers across the nation, she's lucky to still have a job.
"We don't have a large budget for music," said Randolph, "but we do what we can with what we get."
That's why she's here, to improve her curriculum which includes:
"Singing, playing instruments like the glockenspiel and xylophones, the Orff instruments," said Randolph, "dances."
This "Orff"-inspired lesson incorporates music with movement.
"Music should be fun, and this is a way to get up and move around and have a great experience with it," said Sue Keeble, Vice President of the Orff Heart of Illinois Chapter, based in Bloomington-Normal.
Orff classes are taught in Chicago and at Illinois State University and are a growing trend.
Keeble said it's conferences like this one that will keep music in the classrooms.
"It's important to educate the public about what we do," said Keeble, "because I think if they really knew what we did in the classroom, they would think that they couldn't live without it."
And the public can also experience the music, watching performances lasting through Saturday.