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EIU Department of Music

Student Achievements

Rebecca Warfel (flute, Teacher Licensure) and Kristin Stine (violin, Teacher Licensure) were selected to present at the 2015 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at Eastern Washington University.  They were chosen from more than 3,700 submissions throughout the United States.  More that 25 EIU students will be presenting at NCUR this year and the Department of Music is proud to be represented by Kristin and Rebecca's excellent projects.


Rebecca Warfel

 The Benefits of Teaching Fife to Beginner Flute Students"
The flute can be a difficult instrument for beginners to master. The instrument itself often presents challenges that can deter students. Some of these include initial embouchure development, sound production, breath support, and counterintuitive fingerings. Beginning a student on a fife before playing a metal flute can aid in learning these necessary skills and introduce music theory elements required to play the instrument. The fifes used in this study are also much less expensive than a traditional flute, which can alleviate some of the financial burden that comes with participating in instrumental music. The purpose of this action research study is to identify and evaluate the potential benefits of teaching fife to a beginner flute student prior to introducing the traditional metal flute. This research will address the question of whether or not teaching fife aids instruction and facilitates that transition. The eight participants are volunteers who have expressed an interest in learning to play the flute. Males and females between the ages of seventeen and forty-eight will be included in this study. Participants will be divided into two groups. One group will begin with metal flutes and the other will begin with plastic fifes. The fifes that will be used in this study are eight holed transverse instruments (Yamaha YRF-21). A series of approximately ten to twelve individual lessons will be taught to students of both groups. The fife group will transition to metal flutes after specified learning goals have been met while the flute group will continue to learn on metal flutes. Both groups will learn the same musical content. Data collected will include audio and video recordings, surveys, and lesson notes. Information from both groups will be analyzed to track each student's progress and to identify the benefits of learning fife and transitioning to the traditional flute. Additionally, any drawbacks or negative results from teaching with fifes will be recorded and analyzed. Results from this study will inform music teachers and will specifically enhance flute pedagogical methods.


 Kristin Stine

 Technique For Transportation: Shifting on the Violin
One of the most crucial parts to playing the violin is intonation.   When violin students have clean shifts that are in tune, it is a sign of years of hard work leading to a beautiful, jaw-dropping sound.  Reliable shifting is important because it not only provides students with transportation around the instrument, but also is a useful performing tool that can help students psychologically when under pressure.  Shifting is a concept that takes years for students to master, even with constant practice.  Besides being an extremely difficult aspect of playing the violin, shifting is also very difficult to teach.  Teaching points are very helpful with this aspect, and provided is an ordered list to teaching shifting on the violin using systematic books and exercises from beginner to mastery levels.  I have also conducted a test of beginning shifting using this list on my own students. 


 Rose Cloud 

CloudRose has been selected as one of the recipients of the Livingston Lord Scholarship. This scholarship was established by the Alumni Association in honor of Eastern's first president, and for decades has been considered EIU's most prestigious award for academic excellence.  It is the only scholarship for which the recipients are honored annually during the spring commencement ceremony. To learn more about Rose's story,click here.

Mitch Weakley's

WeakleyMitch's composition "Nexus" won the 2015 Allen Strange Memorial Award by the Society of Electroacoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS). The Strange Award is an annual award to celebrate the best undergraduate or high school electro-acoustic composition. The winner receives a cash prize of $250 and recognition at the 2015 SEAMUS National Conference. This composition also was selected to be presented at the Bowling Green State University National Student Electronic Music Event (N_SEME), which showcases student work in electroacoustic media from around the country. Mitch is a student of Dr. Bradley Decker.
Mitch is a senior in the Bachelor of Music, Teacher Licensure program and will graduate in May 2016.

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Music Department

Doudna Fine Arts Center
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

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