Immanuel Lutheran Music Director

Mrs. Dietmeier joined the staff at Immanuel in 1986. She has a BA in Music Education from Illinois State University and serves as Director of the Highland Children’s Choir. Mrs. Dietmeier was a recipient of the 2003 Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year Award.

Immanuel Lutheran Piano Instructor

Mrs. Allison majored in piano performance & music education at Monmouth College in Illinois. She conducted her graduate work in piano performance at N.I.U. She has taught over 60,000 lessons and in 2006 presented her 50th recital. She divides her teaching time between Immanuel and her studio in Polo.

Music Curriculum Highlights:

Pre-K thru 2nd Grade

Lower elementary students enjoy singing, all sorts of movement, and learning to read note values by playing drums, boom-wackers, chimes, and various rhythmic instruments. All grades lead chapel services at least once a year.

The Pre-school students perform a Christmas program concert. Kindergarten, first, and second grade students participate in the Christmas presentation and conduct a program in the spring.

3rd thru 6th Grade

Middle elementary students also enjoy singing. These students concentrate on learning to read music by playing recorders, hand chimes, and drums.

Third, fourth, and fifth grade students conduct a musical at Christmas, as well as participate in Wednesday school chapel services.

7th and 8th Grade

Playing hand bells and hand chimes are a favorite activity for these junior high students. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students conduct a fall musical. In February, students participate in the Illinois Grade School Association Music Contest. For the past several years, every 7th and 8th grade student has been willing to sing and be judged!

Piano Lessons

Piano lessons are offered to students in grades two through eight … one of the very few schools to offer this curriculum. Students are excused from their classes for 20 minute lessons, taught by Nel Allison. A $7.00 fee is paid each week to Mrs. Allison. Students are required to have either a piano or a keyboard with a minimum of 60 keys. Lessons include weekly theory assignments, which help teach the fundamentals of music.

During the school year, students have the opportunity to play for the Wednesday school chapel offertory. Many of these students also play for their respective church’s “special music” on Sundays. Students also present recitals during the year, although they vary each year. Summer students have conducted a “Back to School” recital. These students have also presented a Costume Recital, Christmas Recitals, and an Outside Spring Picnic Recital. A “Mid-Winter Recital” is presented by all of the students the day after the Illinois Grade School Association (IGSMA) Contest. Another goal for students in grades 5 through 8 is the annual IGSMA Solo and Ensemble Contest in mid-February. Approximately 15 schools participate in this regional event, and perform their piano, vocal, or instrumental solo for a judge. Immanuel has compiled the highest overall score the last couple of years at this event.

Piano Camp

Piano camp is conducted shortly after the end of the school year. Students attend a five-day week of classes, with a special treat on the last day (either a pizza party, a trip to Union Dairy, or a trip to Culver’s). Camp serves several purposes, including allowing potential students to experience lessons. Students are placed in groups, according to their age and level of accomplishment. The Camp uses 7-8 keyboards (pianos, Clavinovas, electric keyboards) in one room. Students enjoy sight-reading, ensemble playing, and demonstrations; as well as play theory games and watch various music videos.

Music Scores

Got music? Learning to play music is linked to improved school scores. More than 200 second graders were studied. Some were trained on piano keyboard and math software. Others used only the software. After six months, the piano players scored higher on math tests. It seems that making music taps into parts of the brain involved with reasoning, say researchers.

Musical middle and high school students score well too. The College Entrance Examination Board compared students with no music background to student musicians. The board found that music makers scored 57 points higher on verbal tests and 41 points higher in math.

Students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math.

UCLA examined the test scores of 25,000 students in grades 8 to 12 over a period of 10 years. Researchers found that students with a high interest in instrumental music scored higher in math know-how than did others.