Talking in Tune: Senior’s podcast shares his passion for music | Today

By | September 20, 2022

By John DiConsiglio

For Ellie D’Andria, a scholar at George Washington College’s Columbian Faculty of Arts & Sciences (CCAS), music has at all times been on the heart of her life.

From first studying the piano at age 6 to main the GW Jazz Orchestra on trombone and singing, D’Andria cannot bear in mind a time when she wasn’t a part of a choir, an a cappella group or of a marching band.

However in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, D’Andria’s musical releases all of a sudden went quiet. The Jazz Orchestra has canceled its performances. Venues the place D’Andria had taken the stage, corresponding to DC’s Twins Jazz Membership and Blues Alley, have closed.

“Music holds such an enormous place in my coronary heart,” she mentioned. “After I was away from her [during COVID], I spotted how a lot it infused my life with pleasure. I knew that in some way I needed to get again to it.

At GW, D’Andria selected to not pursue a music main. “I wished it to stay a enjoyable passion that I did on the finish of the day,” she mentioned. Whereas many topics appealed to her—her course load ranged from humanities to statistics to American Signal Language—she opted for a Particular Interdisciplinary Main (SIM), a program distinctive to CCAS that permits college students to design their very own curriculum. D’Andria’s objectives are targeted on schooling coverage which, she mentioned, “appears to be the pure intersection of my curiosity in human mind improvement and political science and institutional change work. “.

However D’Andria nonetheless discovered a means so as to add music to his research. For her capstone thesis, she created a podcast referred to as Signed, Sealed, Delivered: A Love Letter to Music Training. Over 5 episodes, she interviewed neuroscientists, music therapists, and schooling advocates to advertise music schooling in Okay-12 grades whereas expressing her personal musical passions. She hopes her podcast will persuade coverage makers, educators and music lovers to boost their voices in favor of the worth of music.

“I need to present them that music is not simply this frivolous academic dessert — whereas math, science and studying are the principle programs,” mentioned D’Andria, who plans to pursue a profession as a therapist after accomplished a research postponed by COVID- semester on board in Denmark. “Music can be each stunning and helpful.”

Mastery of a number of disciplines

The music has been a typical chorus for all of D’Andria’s household. His mom, who sings and performs guitar, was a university music scholar. Her father performs trumpet and piano, and her brothers are proficient in devices starting from oboe to tuba. “We’re a kind of boring households who do five-part harmonies to Christmas carols,” she laughed.

In 2021, D’Andria spent a semester volunteering at a COVID testing heart in her hometown of Urbana, Illinois. Throughout her eight-hour shifts, she would hum her favourite Erykah Badu music and take into consideration methods to discover the sounds she was lacking. By the point she returned to Foggy Backside, she had a plan. For her signature challenge, she imagined a podcast that mixed her musical abilities together with her analysis and tutorial pursuits.

Along with her mentor Eric Lawrence, who holds the chair of political science, she explored the historical past of public schooling insurance policies. As a analysis assistant within the lab of psychology professor Carol Sigelman, D’Andria examined the cognitive hyperlinks of music to psychological well being and social-emotional studying.

She spoke with Affiliate Professor Training Coverage Advisor Yas Nakib, turned to College of Media and Public Affairs Director of Strategic Initiatives Frank Sesno for interview help, and requested Corcoran College of Arts and Design Director Lauren Onkey for podcasting suggestions. Heather Stebbins, an assistant professor of digital music computing, taught him methods to use digital broadcasting instruments and program synthesizers.

“I used to be fully blown away by [D’Andria’s] Mission SIMs,” Sigelman mentioned. “It demonstrated an unbelievable mastery of a number of disciplines and a number of applied sciences, great communication abilities and nice stage presence.”

Every podcast episode options interviews with specialists on the worth of music schooling, together with a neuroscientist and opera singer who defined the cognitive advantages of music coaching and a music therapist who described the hyperlinks to emotional well being. . In a single episode, a coverage pundit described an “advocacy toolkit” to advertise music schooling at a time when, in accordance with the Grammy Music Training Coalition, 3.8 million college students in pre-Okay by 12 in the USA should not have entry to music schooling. .

Within the newest episode, D’Andria requested the musicians to speak concerning the affect music has had on their lives. D’Andria herself has shared treasured musical recollections, from main her highschool marching band to singing Louis Armstrong’s What a Fantastic World to her gravely ailing grandfather. “I wished to finish by speaking about music like we do not have to defend it,” she mentioned. “Generally I imply we must always train music simply because it fills us with a lot pleasure.”