Luther senior researches the creation of a Luther College Community Music School

August 10, 2018

According to research by Luther College senior Catelyn Janda, a community music school would benefit not only local musicians but also Luther College music education students looking to get more hands-on experience. The Batavia, Illinois, native is spending her summer exploring the creation of a Luther College Community Music School.

Janda, the daughter of Rob and Denise Janda of Batavia, is a 2015 graduate of Batavia High School. She is majoring in music at Luther, with a minor in secondary education.

Janda is working with Jill Wilson, Luther assistant professor of education and coordinator for music education, on her project, “Luther College Community Music School.” She also worked with local music instructors to get their opinions on the need for a music school in the community.

Working to build another bridge between Luther College and the Decorah community, Janda collaborated with Wilson to explore the feasibility of a community music school, open to anyone regardless of age or experience. Luther music students would get more opportunities to teach by giving private lessons and group classes to members of the community. The Luther College Community Music School will offer group classes during Wednesday morning teacher in-service time, private lessons and the Song and Dance Club youth choir program on Monday evenings.

“The most fascinating part of the research was interviewing local music teachers to learn their opinions on the institution of this program. They have shared many valuable ideas that have helped to shape the program,” said Janda. “Establishing this school will strengthen Luther’s connection with our community, provide enriching music opportunities and provide Luther music education students more opportunities to teach.”

Janda and Wilson also believe, “LCCMS could open opportunities for more students to engage in private study and provide a strong foundation to send them on to the many outstanding area instructors.”

Janda and Wilson’s collaboration is one of 30 summer student-faculty research projects funded through Luther’s College Scholars Program and Dean’s Office. The Student-Faculty Summer Research projects provide students an opportunity to research topics of interest alongside Luther faculty. This program is one of a wide selection of experiential learning opportunities that are part of Luther’s academic core and intend to deepen the learning process.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website: