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University of Maryland School of Music helps “SHARPen” arts instruction in Riverdale

Wed, Dec 10, 2014
 
 
Riverdale, MD - Students at the UMD School of Music are boosting the arts at William Wirt Middle School through SHARP, a new after-school music program from UMD clarinet professor Robert DiLutis, ArtsSi Riverdale’s Dwayne Fields-Kuehl, and William Wirt Band Director Randolph Barnes. 
 
Designed to supplement William Wirt’s underfunded arts instruction, SHARP brings five UMD School of Music graduate students to the middle school each week to give private lessons and group classes to select students, and perform for band classes during the day. “I love working with these students because they are like sponges,” says School of Music volunteer Tessa Gartin. “They want to learn as much information as they possibly can, and they work extremely hard.” 
 
SHARP will ultimately expand to accommodate the entire music program at William Wirt. DiLutis says, "Arts education is vital to our community and students. Study after study has shown that school-age students who actively participate in the arts are at the top of their class. They consistently achieve higher grades, are happier and more motivated. SHARP is not only teaching the art of music; it provides students with structure, teaches self-discipline, and fosters creativity.”