Violin instructor teaches more than bowing

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April 24, 2012

Elbows up. Bows straight. Backs tall.

Georgia College graduating senior Megan Hill cues fifth-graders of Eagle Ridge Elementary School to string the first measures of nursery rhyme “Mary had a Little Lamb” — in tune.

“The students have to concentrate Graduating senior Megan Hill teaches Eagle Ridge Elementary fifth-grade students proper techniques for playing the violin. Graduating senior Megan Hill teaches Eagle Ridge Elementary fifth-grade students proper techniques for playing the violin.on multiple things at one time to get the right sound,” said Hill, a 10-year viola player. “Each week they get better.”

The psychology major and music minor teaches third- through fifth-graders bowing and plucking techniques on the violin, string family member to the viola.

Before her students string a single note, Hill educates them about the parts of a violin; how to hold the instrument and care for it; and how to read notes on sheet music.

Hill exercises both her major and minor by understanding the social dynamics of students while teaching music.

The Snellville, Ga., native received the opportunity to work with the students through Georgia College’s Extended University Division department, Youth Enrichment Services (YES) of Baldwin County Georgia.

A collaborative project of Georgia College, Baldwin County Schools, Baldwin County Parks and Recreation and local citizens, YES strives to increase graduation rates, inspire curiosity and improve literacy among elementary, middle and high school students and their family members.

Directing a class of 12 elementary students, Hill works alongside Eagle Ridge’s music teacher Kim Neidlinger and school counselor Peggi Joyner four days a week in the program.

“The YES program is an enrichment opportunity for our young students to broaden their horizons and engage in an activity that they may not normally do,” said Joyner.

“Plus, studies show music increases math scores. These violin lessons are an outlet for students to excel in their classwork. Megan does a great job helping them count and read music.”

The YES program also has strengthened Hill’s teaching skills and helped map her career plans after May graduation.

“My original plan when I started college was to finish school with the intent of being a school counselor or high school psychology teacher and teach viola lessons on the side,” Hill said. “With my YES program experience I can successfully accomplish these plans together.”

To learn more about the YES program, call 478-445-0146.

ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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For more information, contact University Communications at (478) 445-4477.

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