University of Southern Mississippi music students are gaining unique experience in performance this semester through Dr. Danilo Mazzarri’s Flute Studio course, in which students are performing chamber music recitals at assisted living facilities in the Hattiesburg area.
Students are conducting performances throughout the semester at The Claiborne, Brookdale Senior Living, and Wesley Manor Retirement Community.
According to Mazzarri, residents of the assisted living facilities have welcomed the opportunity to hear live music and visit with the students. At the same time, students are developing a deeper comprehension of their music craft.
Mazzarri developed the idea to include service-learning in the Flute Studio course as a way to incorporate more performance experience and direct contact with an audience. It also reminds students about the societal aspects of music enjoyment.
“I have noticed that, in general, music students tend to become disengaged from society when they solely focus on their craft,” explained Mezzadri. “I am hoping this experience will give students a better understanding of the many opportunities and venues available to them in the musical field.”
The performances have led to a positive impact in students’ preparedness and proactiveness in their communication with the audience, noted Mezzadri. He hopes that the experiences will help students gain more independence and assertiveness as performers.
An added benefit has been the connections made with some of the assisted living residents, which has included former USM faculty members and long-time music contributors to the Hattiesburg community.
MUP 214 is one of several service-learning courses offered at the University of Southern Mississippi. Service-learning courses are supported by the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) and involve course-based, credit-bearing educational experiences in which students participate in organized service activities that meet identified community needs,
A list of service-learning courses offered at USM can be viewed on the Center for Community Engagement’s website at usm.edu/cce.