Music teacher Andy Himelick shares his thoughts and experiences.
My connection with ICC started with acquiring my music education degree at Butler University, where I had Henry Leck as a choral director and conducting professor, and did my student teaching with Meredith Leck. They both modeled for me how to be a caring and effective children’s choir director.
My official beginning with the ICC started in 1999. I was hired to teach the first level of the ICC’s Preparatory Program on Butler’s campus. My elementary music methods professor, Dr. Penny Dimmick, taught the second level (and still does!). Since then I have been a regional choir director in Carmel and Zionsville, and I currently teach Preparatory and Early Childhood at the Boone County Children’s Choir. I have also taught Kodály classes during the Choral Fest.
When a child joins the ICC, it seems their main thought is, “I’m here to sing and learn songs.” However, as they participate over time, they start to realize that their experience is so much more. Through their learning of songs, they are growing in music literacy, listening, and vocal skills. They are opened to the diversity our world offers in the beauty of different peoples and music genres. They learn values like teamwork, friendship, and excellence. What parent would not want their child to learn these valuable lessons?
Additionally, the ICC has a strong relationship with area schools. Many teachers know and value the opportunity the ICC can offer their students. They understand students who participate in the ICC will strengthen school music programs. These students will be the model choral student regarding vocal skills, reading skills, work ethic, and friendship. Hopefully teachers also know that the ICC has many resources available for music teachers. Opportunities like director clinics, grade level convocations, workshops, and professional development are wonderful ways for schools to receive support from the ICC.
I am very thankful for the past 17 years of music making I’ve had with the ICC. I look forward to the future as the ICC continues to reach new children who desire to be part of something bigger than what they expect, and I’m thrilled I get to be a part of it.
As a part of National Arts in Education Week, the ICC is teaming with the Arts Council of Indianapolis and its Any Given Child Indy initiative, a partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools and the Mayor’s Office.