As musicians in the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble, students receive countless hours of instruction from professors. But a new program has reversed the students’ roles, as they discover their passion as teachers.
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the Hopkins Center for the Arts has launched the Dartmouth Youth Wind Ensemble. The eight-week pilot program, led by Director of Bands Matthew Marsit, gives young musicians the chance to learn and play alongside members of the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble. The Dartmouth musicians and the younger students will perform side-by-side in a culminating public performance on March 2 at the Top of the Hop.
Over the past two months, 32 musicians from grades five through eight received individual attention and guidance, learning to play pieces as an ensemble. But the budding maestros aren’t the only ones who benefit from the program.
Paul Finkelstein ’13 is one of 14 Dartmouth students participating in the program, which has met once a week since the beginning of January.
“I get so much joy out of music,” he says, “but it is only really worth it if you can share that joy with others.”
“The students can play with great sophistication, well beyond their age,” says Finkelstein, a conductor. “I have found that my conducting has improved, because in order to instill the young students with good ensemble playing habits one must conduct with great clarity.”
Aidan Grant, a flutist and sixth-grader at Hartford Memorial Middle School, says he enjoyed working with Dartmouth students.
“The Dartmouth students were very inspiring as we were rehearsing,” says Grant. “They were always happy to help us and talk to us, and I would never see them without a smile on their face.”
Marsit not only oversees the program and leads some rehearsals, he also coaches the Dartmouth students by giving advice on teaching methods. He says the program is a different way to share music.
“This is a great way to share arts with the community outside of a normal concert,” says Marsit. “I’m thrilled we’ve come together on this project.”
“To me, there is no greater experience in life than sharing something you love with young students,” says Marsit.