Music majors make a difference through Tutti Wind Ensemble


Lauryn Butler, Contributor

Marywood University’s music therapy and music education majors put their classroom skills to work while making a difference in others’ lives in the Tutti Wind Ensemble.

Every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Marywood music students teach those with intellectual disabilities ranging from 15 to 25 years old how to read music and play an instrument such as the drums, trumpet or clarinet. Those receiving the lessons are referred to as the “tutti students.”

According to the Oxford Dictionary the word “tutti” means “a passage to be performed with all voices or instruments together,” which is what the group does each week.

Tara Kelly and Jess Velardi, both senior music therapy majors, started the program in the fall of 2016.

Kelly said the program benefits the tutti students because “they are able to express themselves and be a part of something much bigger than their daily activities.”

Each session starts off with an icebreaker game to allow the participants to learn a little more about each other. Then, they split into individual groups where a tutti student is paired with a music therapy major and a music education major.

After about 20 minutes of individual work, all the groups join together to get a feel for what it is like playing their instruments with other people.

Jamie Ross, one of the tutti students learning how to play the drums, said she enjoys attending every week and is thankful for the program.

The tutti students are not the only ones benefiting from this program.

Nicole Polara, a rehearsal assistant for the tutti program and a junior music therapy major, said the program is a great way for her to gain experience for her future career.

“Upon our first meeting, I knew that it was going to be awesome all the way through,” said Polara.

Dr. David Romines, music theater and dance department co-chair and associate professor of music education, said he helped endorse the program and has seen it progress.

“The number of students we have involved in the tutti initiative have grown,” said Romines.

Additionally, Romines said the number of tutti students has increased.

The program “closely aligns with Marywood’s overall mission of service to others,” said Romines.

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