Hylton Performing Arts Center: Third Coast Percussion Connects Students to STEAM

Published on April 1, 2022 by Hylton Performing Arts Center       |      Share this post!

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Third Coast Percussion was ecstatic to collaborate with the Hylton Performing Arts Center on an industry-spanning opportunity, to share TCP’s STEM+Music program, WAVES.

The Hylton Performing Arts Center Education Initiative continued its virtual field trips in March with an innovative STEAM-based learning experience with GRAMMY® Award-winning quartet Third Coast PercussionThree thousand students Grades 2– 8 from Prince William County and the City of Manassas participated in WAVES: the Science Behind SoundPerformances by Third Coast Percussion are interspersed with interactive teaching moments connecting scientific and musical concepts in a six-video series. Students had the opportunity to explore amplitude and dynamics; frequency and pitch; noise versus pitch; and musical timbre and the sonic spectrum.

The digital version of WAVES is based on an education program Third Coast Percussion toured in 2014 through 2019. It was developed through a collaboration with a professor at University of Notre Dame’s College of Engineering. “We passionately agreed that STEM subjects and the Arts have much more in common with each other than they are often given credit for having,” says Third Coast Percussion ensemble member Sean Connors.

The Hylton Center’s Education Coordinator, Marit Majeske, is looking forward to continuing the Hylton’s collaboration with Third Coast Percussion on this cross-curricular experience. “I am thrilled to be able to share this opportunity with our local students and teachers that crosses multiple subject areas while being anchored in the arts. Through this virtual field trip we have had the chance to not only work with music classes, but also 5th and 8th grade classrooms since this opportunity aligns well with the sound learning objectives in those grade levels.”

Both the Hylton Center’s Education Initiative and Third Coast Percussion shifted to digital education activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. WAVES: the Science Behind Sound is the second virtual field trip by Third Coast Percussion presented by the Hylton Center. In fall 2020, the ensemble’s first virtual field trip at the Hylton Center for local students was Think Outside the Drum. The ensemble was also the first virtual Artist-in-Residence at the Hylton Center’s sister venue, the Center for the Arts in Fairfax.

Connors of Third Coast Percussion hopes students will gain an understanding of just how deeply connected the arts and sciences are after participating in WAVES. “Our goal would be if a student who self-identified as not being interested in music, or math, or dance, or science finished the WAVES program with a more curious outlook on the world, and the desire to examine and discover the connections between seemingly unrelated disciplines.”

The Education Initiative is supported by The McNichols Family Foundation, Lillian Ballard, and Friends of the Hylton Center. Learn more about Hylton Center Education Initiatives.

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Click here to learn more about TCP’s WAVES program and other educational performances.