LAMusArt's 2020 Arts Education Intern, Leslie Swadener is a music major at Whittier College. Her music education began in middle school when she had her first piano class which then inspired her to begin learning the violin. Once she reached high school, to separate herself from the many violinists, she challenged her music theory, mastered the alto clef and shifted to her now foremost instrument, viola, at which point she believes her music education really made an impact on her life. “Having that connection – that bond – with music teachers is different than you have with your other teachers at school. That really helped me get through everything and helped me realized what I wanted to do.”
On arts education, Leslie has embraced technology-based learning and is learning to navigate a forthcoming shift in teaching and learning methods. For her senior project, Leslie is focusing on the move from traditional music education to industries of “self-taught” composition tools such as ProTools and GarageBand and how these platforms will impact higher music education; and as the LAMusArt Arts Education Intern, Leslie has the chance to not only support the teaching artists she works with but analyze her class observations as teaching artists implement a distance-learning curriculum with LAMusArt.
Leslie began her internship in late September 2020, when LAMusArt’s classes entered their sixth month of online instruction. While, for many – including herself as she self- reported - this pandemic left some artists unmotivated to practice or gather inspiration, she found that her internship projects have “fueled” her and given her reasons to deeply learn and understand topics she had only scratched the surface on at school. “This is definitely igniting my passion again […] being a part of this is helping me see more reasons why I need that (teaching).”
LAMusArt is a proud grantee of the Los Angeles Department of Arts and Culture Arts Internship program that provides access to high quality opportunities for college students of all backgrounds to gain experience, understanding, and transferable skills relevant to careers in the arts, the creative economy, and engagement in public life.