Franciscan Sister Believes She Can Help People in Belgium

Paul Keggington

January 18, 2009

NPR features Tarak McLain‘s ‘Thirty Things I Believe’ essay that is part of a longer work that he wrote at the completion of 100 days of kindergarten. Tarak begins with ‘life is good’ and ‘we can help people’.

news_129.jpgBelgium’s Daily recently headlined Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Lorna Zemke, OSF as a ‘Famous American Music Pedagog Gives Workshop’. A full-time professor of music at Silver Lake College and an expert music educator in the Kodaly Approach to music education, she, too, believes ‘life is good’ and she ‘can help people’ by sharing her own expertise even if that means flying many hours away to do it.

Invited by Guido Six, Director of the Ostend Music Conservatory (55 music teachers who instruct 1700 students) in Ostend, Belgium, Sister Lorna spent a week of concentrated instruction with the faculty at three area music conservatories also including Ieper (remember In Flanders Field lovenotes.jpgpoem) and Roeselare Conservatories January 5-11. Sister conducted seminars on the essentials of the Kodaly Approach to Music Education and unique music teaching techniques. Notable hallmarks of her teaching include her unique Love notes: Music for the Unborn Child program and her use of hands-on-manipulatives in teaching music concepts.

Sister Marella Wagner, OSF, chair of the Department of Music at Silver Lake College and Professor of Music Theory, accompanied Sister Lorna. Sister Marella uses and adapts the Kodaly Approach to Music in the Comprehensive Musicianship courses she conducts for music majors and minors at the college.

One of the major differences in the present method of teaching music in Belgium and the Kodaly approach is the Conservatorie system’s fixed-Do solfege vs Kodaly’s moveable -Do solfege.

Tarak McLain and the Franciscan Sisters reaching out to others in Belgium are acting on their beliefs. What are some of your hopes and beliefs during this unique week that celebrates the beginning of the Christian Unity Octave?

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