Indiana State University Newsroom

Community School of the Arts unveils summer class schedule

April 9, 2015

Indiana State University's Community School of the Arts' summer classes are more than just a way to keep your youngsters busy while school's out.

Students, parents and instructors agree it's a way to supplement what these young minds might not have the opportunity to learn during the school year -- or build upon the lessons they do get.

CSA percussion instructor Sean Cook, a junior music education major at Indiana State, said when he was in high school, peers in neighboring school districts would tell him how much they envied him being part of Avon's national-championship-winning marching band.

"They had no reason to envy me. If they would have lived five minutes south, then they would have been part of the same program," Cook said. "Because they lived five minutes north and outside of that (school district), they're now doing things at a lower level and they're not exposed to what could be."

As the instructor of CSA's summer Rock Camp! and Indoor Drum Line, Cook helps level the playing field for young musicians. For instance, Indoor Drum Line, offered in a gym on a tarp rather than on a football field, allows students to try their hand at more difficult music -- and techniques.

"You take away all of the winds, the brass, and it's strictly the marimba, xylophones in the front and the drum line in the back. And that's it," Cook said. "It's also a way for them to perform a story, to be more theatrical. I think that's important for kids to break out of their shell. They play at a higher level, they play at a faster pace and they can be more connected to a show they learn. I just hope every student can be a part of it."

For Christin Scott's four home-schooled children, who range in ages 6 to 12, seizing the opportunities CSA presents was exactly why she started enrolling them in 2013.

"Our children get the freedom to create and express themselves. Pablo Picasso said, ‘Every child is an artist,' and we agree. Creativity is a valuable and priceless gift of childhood that should be nurtured and cultivated," Scott said. "Freedom to be creative is significant in the emotional and intellectual development of every child. These classes bestow upon our children a dedicated time and commitment to create, which further builds the foundation for well-trained, creative thinking."

Scott's children have participated in art, guitar, children's choir, drama, pottery and piano classes.

Seven-year-old Carter Moore, a first-grader at Dixie Bee Elementary, has taken many of those same classes, but theater is his favorite.

"I like it. It was fun," he said of the class, adding that he likes being on stage and participated in four plays last summer.

It wasn't all fun for this natural performer, though. He says he became nervous during one exercise when they had to tell the class about themselves -- within a certain time limit. He was able to meet the task ... give or take a second.

In pottery class, Moore said, "I made lots of bowls. One of the bowls is in Mommy's office; she puts paper clips in it."

A Dixie Bee classmate of Moore's has also attended CSA's summer session, he said. He also made "a bunch" of new friends in one of his classes and is looking forward to this summer, Moore said.

The learning isn't reserved for just the elementary-age youngsters. In fact, Cook's students are high schoolers -- an age group he really enjoys teaching because of the lasting affect he can make on their lives.

"I like helping students do something they never thought they'd be able to do -- just a simple breakdown of ‘Do this, do this. OK, you just did it. Why did you say you couldn't do it?' I like to eliminate the words ‘can't,' ‘never be able to,' ‘impossible,'" he said. "It's also just a way of teaching discipline and life lessons through music that they can take on for other activities. With high school kids, hopefully they can take the discipline to their jobs, so they can go further in their careers."

Cook, who is in his second summer teaching at CSA, comes from a long line of musicians and took up percussion when his drummer dad "handed me some sticks and bongos" at age 2. A drum set followed when he was 10.

"From there, it was trying to learn every single rock song that I listened to. And then when I got to high school, I joined the drum line and it really took off," he said.

Success in music comes down to practice -- and practicing correctly, Cook said.

"I really hope the students can come in and appreciate music on a new level and learn different ways to practice," he said. "Anybody can go out and learn a song, but it's applying the right practice techniques that make it perfect."

And in Rock Camp!, students learn how to become an actual rock band. The first time CSA offered the class, the students got off to a slow start, but now they're challenging their instructor.

"We can't give them songs that are too hard for them," Cook said. "We're really excited for Rock Camp this summer, and their ability to play harder songs is going to skyrocket."

The students' success is a testament to CSA's programming and instructors, who are "a community treasure and an amazing resource for fine arts education," Scott said.

"I always have peace of mind that the CSA is doing a good job, and my children will receive a quality fine arts education," she said. "The CSA is an asset to our community -- creating time and space for personal expression, growth and development."

Summer class registration is now open. For a full list of CSA's summer programming options, go to or call 812-237-2528.


Photos: -- Carter Moore, left, receives instruction during a guitar class at the Community School of the Arts at Indiana State University. -- A student performs during a theater class at the Community School of the Arts at Indiana State University. -- A student works on a clay piece during a pottery class at the Community School of the Arts at Indiana State University. -- A student participates in a beginner piano class at the Community School of the Arts at Indiana State University.

Contact: Petra Nyendick, director of the Community School of the Arts, Indiana State University, 812-841-2884 or

Writer: Libby Roerig, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or

Story Highlights

Students, parents and instructors agree it's a great way to supplement what these young minds might or might not get during the school year. For a full list of CSA's summer programming options, go to or call 812-237-2528.

See Also:

Students talk up Indiana State University to lawmakers at ISU Day at Statehouse

$1 million gift will create endowed professorship of insurance

Rich schedule of events planned for Black History Month at ISU

ISU geology student will present her research on Capitol Hill

ISU faculty violinist to celebrate Major Bach Anniversary

Bakari Sellers speech at ISU cancelled