Welcome! If you are new to the choral ensembles at Penn Manor, here’s a little bit of information about your director:
My name is Lauren Ciemiewicz and I have been teaching at Penn Manor since 2011. I direct all choral ensembles at the high school, all choral ensembles at both middle schools, and co-teach strings with my colleague, Mrs. Masten, at the middle schools. In addition, I teach the upper level piano classes at the high school and am on staff for the musical. My primary instrument is piano. I hold a B.M. in Music Education with a concentration in piano from Temple University. I also hold a M.M. in Music Education from The University of the Arts. I believe in being a life learner and will continue to further my own education throughout my entire teaching career so that I can better serve my students. In my free time I love to spend time with my wonderful family, which consists of my husband, my yellow lab, and my 5 month old son. I also enjoy being active, traveling, practicing yoga, going to concerts, and trying new restaurants.
Why study music? Well here’s my philosophy…
Music is a global language incorporating rhythm, melody, and harmony to produce organized sound that triggers emotional expression in human beings. It exists in infinite forms worldwide and serves a multitude of unique purposes in each and every society. It is an art that transcends culture, religion, social status, and language barriers, because of its presence in countless aspects of everyday life all over the globe. Music is an integral part of the human life process. Therefore, it is also a means of communication and a tool to be used for building acceptance and bridging understanding between differing societies. Not all human beings are performers of music, but all human beings are most certainly consumers of music, whether they conscious of this fact or not. For this reason, music deserves validation and should subsequently be examined, explored, and enjoyed by all humans, not just those that consider themselves professional performers.
Vocal music is perhaps the most consumed type of music. Popular artists belt out their top hits on the radio, small children sing songs to remember their ABC’s, birthdays are acknowledged with a celebratory song, and every major sporting event begins with the singing of the National Anthem. Furthermore, vocal music is justifiably the most visceral type of music because the human anatomy includes the built-in instrument for singing. I strongly believe that all people should learn how to properly use their instrument. The choral ensemble is a natural fit for studying the vocal instrument because it also incorporates other necessary human skills, such as collaboration, building community, and exploring unspoken vocabularies of emotional expression. The voice is an instrument that every person can access, regardless of age, race, gender, class, and culture. Music is universal and it is literally part of being human.
“If you can walk you can dance; if you can talk you can sing.” -Zimbabwean proverb
“One can live without music; one hardly does.” -Max Kaplan