Students fight for reinstatement of music education major

December 13, 2013 | 11 a.m.

Music department initiative garners alumni attention

News | Andi Tauer for The Clarion

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Above is pictured a hard copy of the music department initiative that has swept through Bethel in repsonse to the recent cuts. In addition to writing a letter to the administration, students invovled started a Facebook group and gathered signatures. | Photo for The Clarion by Amanda Ahlm

In the midst of financial difficulty, Bethel University cut several majors, inlcuding music education. In response to this cut, music majors and non-music majors alike have banded together to form a music initiative that has swept through Bethel. This initiative involved writing a letter to the administration, the creation of a Facebook group and change.org site and gathering signatures from Bethel’s musical students.

Although most students involved are not directly a part of this major, they feel this cut will greatly impact the department as a whole.

“Music education is essential to the health of all Bethel music. It attracts music students that take on leadership roles and enhance the music and non-music experience for students in the Bethel music ensembles, most of who are not music majors,” said Michael Urch, one of the leaders of the music Initiative.

Urch himself is not a music education major but is passionate about keeping the program alive.

“Even as an economics and finance major, I have been profoundly impacted by the music programs at Bethel. I care about the music education major because I care about Bethel music,” Urch said.

“I believe that the music program without a music education degree will be a detriment, and with that I will notice some severe changes to the ensembles," said Caroline Held, a sophomore band section leader and teaching English as a second language major. Held feels passionately about keeping the music education major in order to keep the music program alive.

“When looking for a college, I was looking for a strong music program. The only reason I didn’t go to Wheaton or a different college was because of how strong the music program at Bethel was," Held said. "If I knew they didn’t have a music education major I would have questioned the strength of the program."

This initiative not only concerns current Bethel students but alumni as well. The leaders of the initiative have contacted and spread the word to alumni who have become involved.

“I’ve been encouraged by the way people have been spreading the word and the response we have gotten from the alumni, people who have been graduated for years and years have gotten really involved and that is really encouraging,” Held said.

The group’s goal is to inform the administration of the effect of the cut on the music program as a whole and inform the Bethel community about its rippling effects.

“We want them to listen but we also want them to know we respect their position. We just want to voice our own concerns,” Held stated.

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