Service-learning courses in the music department give Cal Poly Pomona students an opportunity to work with the university’s community partners such as the Pomona Unified School District.
The classes also enable the students to extend the learn-by-doing approach beyond the campus boundaries.
“The arts, by their nature, embrace diverse ways of knowing,” said Michael Millar, music professor. “Today’s musicians must be able to create their own audiences and community-based musical endeavors to communicate, learn, grow, and maximize their creative opportunities.”
One notable service project is the partnership with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, which visited Pomona High School from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. It was the bus’s third residency in the Pomona area to engage students in their creativity and expand their music education.
The tour bus houses state-of-the-art music equipment and a recording studio. About 400 Pomona Unified students toured the bus, and six high school students had a rare hands-on opportunity to use the professional music equipment.
Assisted by three on-board engineers, they learned how to write, record and produce an original song, music video and live multi-camera video productions in one day. The students were encouraged to try different instruments and created music that fit with the theme, “Come Together.” Eighteen CPP students assisted with the program.
“Cal Poly Pomona’s service-learning courses emphasize high-impact experiential learning projects such as this,” Millar said. “We are fortunate to be one of the few universities in the country to work with the Lennon Bus on this type of multi-faceted project, and we look forward to the next residency.”