Dr. Chris Tanner from Miami University recently visited the Springer School and Center as the 2010 Musician in Residence. Through the art of African drumming, Tanner helped Springer students broaden their experience beyond the Western music with which they are so familiar. "The students won't gain expertise in African drumming," said Dr. Tanner, "but they will learn something about the structure of music, about awareness and attention and about learning by imitation."
Tanner's week-long visit was made possible by the Norita Aplin Musician in Residence program, which was established in 1997 as a way to honor the former Springer executive director for her 14 years of leadership to the school. Tanner spoke with all students during his stay and worked more closely with small groups of selected students who gave a performance at the end of the week.
"Reading musical notation is a challenge for some of our students," said Springer music teacher Judy McMahon. "As African drumming is taught in a 'call and response' manner, it is a perfect way for those students to learn. Dr. Tanner brings so much energy to his teaching." Tanner was Springer's first Musician in Residence and has visited several times since the inception of the program.