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Bethel's Ran Owyang Awarded NWPE Grant for Ukuleles
posted by: Cindy Omlin | April 14, 2016, 10:20 PM   

randall owyang 2016The grant funds will be used to purchase eight soprano ukuleles in order to complete a classroom set of 30. With these addition instruments, Mr. Owyang will be able to begin teaching 5th graders who have not yet participated in band or orchestra.  He will have the capacity to extend ukulele instruction to 3rd and 4th graders as well.  He will also purchase “gig bags” to protect the instruments. 

Mr. Owyang describes how his award will help students.  “The ability to create music makes us unique as humans and greatly enhances our lives. When children develop literacy skills in music, they can experience it in a more meaningful way. The ukulele is an appealing entry-level instrument for building true musicianship and positive attitudes toward music. The ukulele allows the coordination of playing and singing simultaneously. The learner can achieve a pleasing sound early on in the process, which can be very motivating. The ukulele can be played in school assemblies, school clubs, during recess, at ukulele festivals or other gatherings.” 

Mr. Owyang plans to generously share his instruments and knowledge.  The “set of ukuleles can be shared with other elementary music colleagues. I can share my ukulele training with my colleagues as well, thereby enabling them to teach their students.”

A positive relationship between student and teacher is the most important factor for learning to occur according to Mr. Owyang.  “A successful student will remember and respect a teacher who engaged and inspired him or her. Music instruction is an avenue to improving social skills and self-esteem in the short-term, and the benefit of lifelong enjoyment in the long-term.” 

Congratulations to Mr. Owyang!  We appreciate your dedication and extra efforts on behalf of your students!

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