Seldovia Teacher Awarded Guitar Grant

| June 5, 2012 | 0 Comments

by Jenny Chissus

Two Rasmuson Arts Educator Grants were given by the Alaska State Council on the Arts this year, and a big CONGRATULATIONS goes out to our very own Ruth Sensenig who was awarded one of them!  A small exerpt from the Rasmuson Foundation website outlines their position on the encouragement of the arts in education.

“Rasmuson Foundation believes creativity, imagination and self expression are important qualities that should be fostered and encouraged among young people. Experiences in the arts cultivate these qualities and pave the way for the next generation to grow into resourceful, creative, and engaged adults.

Research shows exceptional things happen when the arts become part of the lives of children. The arts play an important role in captivating young people and propelling them to higher levels of achievement and understanding.

Rasmuson Foundation initiated the Arts In Education program to increase the role of cultural institutions in making arts experiences available in schools and neighborhoods; to inspire collaborations between educators, artists and cultural institutions; to increase student access to a variety of high-quality arts and cultural experiences; and to encourage student participation in the arts.”  – from

Ruth taught band this past year, and although the class was enthusiastic and well attended, she felt as though she was supervising jam sessions instead of teaching.  Ruth’s musical experience is in piano, so she applied for this small school grant to give her the opportunity to have an intensive course in guitar – so that she could be a better teacher for all the string instruments.  There are quite a few students who are learning bass, electric and acoustic guitar at SBE, and this will enable her to assist those students in developing their artistic abilities in those areas.

Ruth will be taking one-on-one bass and acoustic guitar lessons from an instructor in Washington State via Skype for 10 weeks, (2 – 2 hour lessons a week) learning mostly Rock & Roll and Blues music!  Most of Ruth’s experience has been in Classical and Jazz – so this is changing the genre a bit to keep up with the interest of the students!

When I had the chance to talk with Ruth about this great award, and how beneficial it will be for our students at SBE – she was excited and enthusiastic about her summer class, saying “I’m gong to be playing guitar a couple hours every day and practicing like mad to get the most out of this experience. ”

Ruth is thankful for the opportunity to learn the guitar, but she is primarily excited to be in a place to really help and encourage the kids at SBE in their musical endeavors.

Thank you to the Rasmuson Foundation for their continued support of the arts in education, and we appreciate Ruth for taking on such an intensive study during her summer months to improve her ability to serve our kids!

Click here to go to the article that came out in the Juneau Empire.

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Category: Education

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