Chatting in Tune: Senior’s Podcast Shares Songs Enthusiasm | GW Nowadays

By John DiConsiglio

For Ellie D’Andria, a senior in the George Washington University’s Columbian Faculty of Arts & Sciences (CCAS), songs has usually been at the middle of her everyday living.

From initial learning to play piano at 6 to main the GW Jazz Orchestra on trombone and vocals, D’Andria simply cannot try to remember a time when she wasn’t component of a choir, an a cappella group or a marching band.

But throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, D’Andria’s musical outlets suddenly went silent. The Jazz Orchestra canceled its performances. Venues the place D’Andria had taken the phase, like D.C.’s Twins Jazz Club and Blues Alley, shuttered their doorways.

“Music is these a substantial section of my coronary heart,” she explained. “When I was absent from it [during COVID], I recognized how it infused my lifestyle with joy. I realized that somehow I experienced to get again to it.”

At GW, D’Andria chose not to pursue a tunes significant. “I desired it to keep on being a enjoyable pastime that I did at the conclusion of the working day,” she said. While lots of subjects appealed to her—her program-load ranges from humanities to figures to American Indicator Language — she settled on a exclusive interdisciplinary major (SIM), a application unique to CCAS that allows pupils to design their very own study course of study. D’Andria’s goals are concentrated on schooling coverage which, she reported, “seems like the organic intersection of my desire in human mind growth and political science-institutional modify operate.”

But D’Andria still observed a way to include music to her scientific tests. For her capstone thesis, she created a podcast called Signed, Sealed, Sent: A Really like Letter to Songs Schooling. Around 5 episodes, she interviewed neuroscientists, tunes therapists and education advocates to endorse songs instruction in K-12 lecture rooms whilst expressing her personal musical passions. She hopes her podcast will persuade policymakers, educators and music fans to elevate their voices in guidance of the value of tunes.

“I want to display them that songs is not just this frivolous academic dessert—while math and science and reading are the main classes,” claimed D’Andria, who options to go after a career as a therapist right after finishing a COVID-postponed research-aboard semester in Denmark. “Music can be equally beautiful and useful as well.”

Mastery of Many Disciplines

Audio has been a popular chorus for D’Andria’s overall relatives. Her mom, who sings and performs guitar, was a new music major in school. Her father performs trumpet and piano, and her brothers are competent on devices from the oboe to the tuba. “We’re a single of these aggravating families that does 5-aspect harmonies on Christmas carols,” she laughed.

In 2021, D’Andria expended a semester volunteering at a COVID testing center in her Urbana, Illinois, hometown. As a result of her 8-hour shifts, she’d hum her most loved Erykah Badu track and feel about how to recapture the seems she was lacking. By the time she returned to Foggy Base, she experienced a prepare. For her capstone undertaking, she envisioned a podcast that put together her musical skills with her investigation and educational pursuits.

With her mentor Political Science Chair Eric Lawrence, she explored the background of general public training coverage. As a research assistant in Professor of Psychology Carol Sigelman’s lab, D’Andria seemed at music’s cognitive inbound links to psychological health and social emotional studying.

She conferred with adviser Affiliate Professor of Education Policy Yas Nakib, turned to University of Media and Public Affairs Director of Strategic Initiatives Frank Sesno for job interview assistance and questioned Corcoran School of the Arts & Structure Director Lauren Onkey for podcasting tips. Heather Stebbins, assistant professor of digital computer system music, taught her how to use electronic broadcasting tools and application synthesizers.

“I was completely blown absent by [D’Andria’s] SIMs project,” Sigelman stated. “It demonstrated incredible mastery of several disciplines and several systems, marvelous communication capabilities and a terrific phase presence.”

Each and every podcast episode functions interviews with experts on the worth of audio education and learning, which includes a neuroscientist and opera singer who discussed the cognitive advantages of musical education and a music therapist who explained the inbound links to psychological wellness. In one particular episode, a policy skilled outlined an “advocacy device box” for marketing tunes education and learning at a time when, according to the Grammy Music Education and learning Coalition, 3.8 million pre-K-12th grade students in the United States have no accessibility to new music instruction.

In the ultimate episode, D’Andria questioned musicians to talk about music’s effect on their life. D’Andria herself shared cherished musical memories, from conducting her substantial school marching band to singing Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful Planet to her critically unwell grandfather. “I desired to finish by talking about songs as if we did not have to advocate for it,” she claimed. “Sometimes I want to argue that we must teach tunes just mainly because it fills us with so a lot pleasure.”