The IMEA gives out multiple scholarships each year based on various requirements. AU music students are required to attend IMEA conferences and are very involved with the organization.
This was Schaffter’s first time applying for the scholarship, although according to Joani Brandon, associate professor of music at AU, other students have been recipients in the past. “It’s competitive, and there is only one winner,” said Brandon. Both students and professional educators can apply, and over the years, five AU students have won the scholarship.
Schaffter received the scholarship based on her academic performance and experience related to music education. She plans to use the award to fund the Orff Schulwerk training she must complete before student teaching. Orff Schulwerk is a theory that emphasizes rhythm and creativity in teaching music.
During the training at AU this summer, Schaffter will be able to learn how to teach music using creativity and rhythm. “I think it is good to have kids move to the beat,” said Schaffter. “In Orff you are building skills bit by bit, and it helps [students] to learn concepts in a fun and cool way.” Music educators teach using certain methods, and Orff Schulwerk is the one she has chosen to study.
Schaffter decided to attend AU knowing that the music program had a respected reputation. “My classes are helping me,” said Schaffter. “A lot of things they require here, other schools do not.”
Set apart from others applying for the scholarship, Schaffter has a great deal of musical experience. She participated in the Anderson Area Children’s Choir in elementary school, which at the time, was directed by Brandon. “She is a really strong academic student, and she has taken the initiative to work with kids, which sets her apart,” said Brandon.
Schaffter also participated in cadet teaching in high school, during which she helped teach in both an elementary and middle school music classroom. Last year, she volunteered with the Anderson Area Children’s Choir, led music for two vacation Bible schools, and attended professional development events. She currently leads worship at a youth group.
Students studying music education at AU are given the opportunity to teach homeschool groups and gain real world experience in their field. “They really seem to enjoy doing creative and different things,” said Schaffter. Her love for creativity is one reason why Schaffter is choosing to use the IMEA music scholarship to pay for Orff Schulwerk training.
Brandon attested to the fact that Schaffter has a lot of experience in her field. “I think she’ll get a teaching job in elementary or middle school and do a great job developing a program there,” said Brandon.
Susan Finger, a professor at Ball State University and the artistic director and conductor for the Anderson Area Children's Choir, also foresees Schaffter’s teaching potential. Finger got to know Schaffter while she was under her direction in the Anderson Area Youth Chorale. “The qualities Andrea has that will help her become an amazing teacher are passion, hard work, enthusiasm, and a commitment to excellence,” said Finger. “If future educators possess the same qualities Andrea shows, our children will be in great hands.”
Schaffter hopes to have a future that combines her love for children and music. “I always say that I would not want to teach anything else because I want to be students’ first glance at music,” said Schaffter. With her training this upcoming summer paid for by her
IMEA scholarship, Schaffter will be able to teach with a strong academic foundation, while also encouraging creativity and expression among her students.
— Anna Rayis is a senior from Columbus, Ohio, majoring in communication arts. Rayis is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.