• Adrienne Rodriguez, assistant professor of music, uses a guitar awarded through her modern band fellowship.
    Kira McNally
  • Marie Dignam ’23, left, and Emily Kirsch ’23, right, play the electric guitar.
    Kira McNally
  • Joseph Dudeck ’23 plays the electric guitar.
    Kira McNally

October 04, 2021

By Alaina Uricheck ’24

Susquehanna University’s Adrienne Rodriguez, assistant professor of music and coordinator of music education, recently completed a fellowship in modern band instruction funded by the nonprofit Little Kids Rock.

As a fellow, Rodriguez traveled to Colorado State University where she received instruction in incorporating modern band teaching methods into teacher education courses and received hands-on instruction in playing popular music instruments such as electric bass, guitar, drum set and keyboard. Participation in the fellowship also provided Rodriguez and her students with curricular materials and modern band instruments, as well as music technology equipment.

Rodriguez has already begun using the new instruments in several of her courses to explore approaches to teaching modern band and popular music in schools. Modern band programs teach students to perform, improvise and compose using the popular styles of music that they know and love, including rock, pop, reggae, hip hop, rhythm and blues and other modern styles.

“Engaging with modern band instruments and approaches will allow SU students to play music that they love and even create new music that is meaningful to them,” Rodriguez said. “These experiences will prepare our students to eventually teach music to their own students in ways that are accessible, relevant and fun.”

The nonprofit selected Rodriguez for the fellowship based on her application and Susquehanna University’s “commitment to making modern band and culturally responsive, highly inclusive music education a part of course offerings to music education majors.”