Congratulations to our Winter 2020 Spark Grant Recipients!

Ondrya Leavitt

Ondrya Leavitt is a music specialist for the Chula Vista Elementary School District.  Her current assignment is at Hilltop Drive Elementary, where she teaches Band, Choir, and general music using the Orff approach.  In the past 3 years, Ondrya has achieved levels I-III of Orff Schulwerk, as well as Certificates in First Steps in Music, and Conversational Solfege.  Ondrya presents regularly to her peers, district, and at the Arts Empower Mega Conference. Ondrya is a practicing musician accomplished in both flute and piano, and recently played at Carnegie Hall with Shadow Mountain Community Orchestra.  Her goals for the future are to continue making a difference in children’s lives through music; watching them grow, and fostering a lifelong passion for music they can share with others.

Ondrya’s Spark Grant will go towards a project for improvisation of movement.  She is making a shadow screen to facilitate uninhibited improvisation in a safe and fun environment, as well as adding some instruments. The additional instruments and materials will include suspended cymbal for specialty sounds to aid in movement storytelling, large scarves for creativity in movement, spots for location markers, and related materials (stand for existing chime tree) so she can utilize existing things in her classroom that require additional support for all students. 

Eric Trio

Eric Trio is the K-4 general music instruction, 4th “Music Makers” performing ensemble director at St. Clairsville Elementary School, St. Clairsville-Richland City School District (OH). He is an active member and the newly appointed president of his local Orff Chapter, Mountain Laurel #118. In addition to attending his local Chapter workshops, Eric has attended the past two AOSA conferences, took an online Orff Course through Vandercook college and completed his Orff-Schulwerk Level I training in the Summer of 2019.

Eric’s Spark Grant will go towards movement props for a Gallery Walk Project. Students will be studying major works of art from the late 19th/20th centuries and will be recreating them in music class through movement and instrument playing.  This will be presented in the evening for families and the community at a Gallery Walk event.

Sarah Farrell

Sarah Farrell has been teaching for 24 years, and currently serves as a full-time music teacher in an PreK-5 elementary school with over 700 students representing a diversity of cultures, languages, and learning styles. Sarah has completed Orff Level III, World Music Drumming 1 and Kodaly 1. In 2016, she presented as part of the President’s Panel at the 2016 AOSA National Conference, sharing her experience as a part of the Digital Mentorship Program.

Sarah will be using her Spark Grant to augment her elemental music and movement program by expanding the use of recorders to reach all students, both those who need extra challenges and those who need extra support. The Spark Grant will enable Sarah to purchase 15 Alto recorders, so that students who are ready for the challenge of a new instrument can use them, and ten Nuvo recorders, which have silicone key flaps, enabling much greater success in covering the holes, and making beautiful music, to better serve her students with developmental delays. Both the Alto and Nuvo recorders will remain property of the school, so many students will reap the benefits of these unique instruments.

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