Each week, the University Center for the Arts at Colorado State University is filled with local middle school students and music instructors eager to be part of something special: a community of learners who develop their expressive language through music in order to understand themselves in an ever-changing world.
The Middle School Outreach Ensemble (MSOE) program is an internationally recognized, community-based music outreach program sponsored by CSU that provides music instruction to local middle school students. More than 60 music educators, including advanced high school students, college music majors, collegiate faculty, practicing teachers, and retired sages provide instruction to more than 200 young musicians. All local middle school band and orchestra students are invited to participate and develop musical artistry over a period of 14 weeks through small and large group work. The program embodies CSU’s land-grant mission, providing equal opportunity and equal access to its music programming through loaned instruments and expert music lessons at an extremely low cost.
The program’s approach to “mutual community” helps to inspire middle school students to love music, expose talented and bright high school students to consider serving the future through a career in music education, and to cultivate teaching excellence in our college students who have chosen to serve their community by becoming a K-12 teacher.
“MSOE is about several things: social justice, teacher training, access, musicianship, community, and inspired instruction. However, the most important aspect of MSOE is that we all strive to forge lasting connections with young people to better their lives through music,” shares Erik Johnson, assistant professor of music education and instrumental music education at CSU.
As the program continues to grow, private support is vital to ensure participation costs remain low, allowing students to easily access these services long into the future. The MSOE program was recently featured in a video at CSU’s 1870 Dinner, a gathering of the University’s greatest supporters, which explored how MSOE is forging new paths for music students and instructors in the Fort Collins community. Watch the feature video here:
Gifts to the MSOE program will help keep this meaningful community resource active and will provide opportunities to grow and expand. To support MSOE, visit www.advancing.colostate.edu/msoe
The School of Music, Theatre and Dance is part of the College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State University.