A new School of Music, Theater & Dance (SMTD) community partnership with Crescendo Detroit was launched this winter, giving select SMTD students the opportunity to teach music and dance to Detroit schoolchildren. The Crescendo Detroit/SMTD Pathways Program is coordinated by the SMTD Office of the Associate Dean for Productions, Programs, and Partnerships and engages students from the Departments of Music Education and Dance. Crescendo Detroit was co-founded by alumnus Damien Crutcher (MM ’96, conducting) who serves as its chief executive officer.
Crutcher, a certified music educator, and his colleague, Angel Rock, who teaches in Detroit Public Schools, provide daily music and dance opportunities for children participating in Crescendo Detroit. Pathways brought 26 of those students to the U-M campus on four successive Saturdays to receive instrumental music and dance instruction; classes were given by 15 undergraduate and graduate SMTD students who had taken specific courses to prepare them for teaching. Twelve of the SMTD teachers were music education students, one was a dance student, with other students acting as site and curriculum coordinators. A final recital was held on April 7 in Watkins Lecture Hall, where the students and their teachers performed short pieces for parents and families. Maxine and Stuart Frankel generously support Crescendo Detroit and its partnership with SMTD.