Sunshine Cottage shines with new music program


Sunshine cottage brings joy to hearing impaired children. Illustration by Madelyn Gaharan

Junior music education major Ana White is organizing what she calls an “instrument petting zoo” for kids with hearing loss on Friday, Nov. 10.

The event will take place at Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children, right across from Elizabeth Huth Coates Library on Hildebrand Avenue.

As the president of Trinity’s Collegiate Texas Music Education (CTME) student organization, White came up with this initiative as a way to to get music education majors to have real practice working with kids.

“So far the stuff we’ve done is have panels with graduates of the MAT program — the master’s program in music ed.- who come back and talk. It is helpful, but since it’s music education and we’re gonna be working with kids, I wanted to try and find some stuff we could do out in the schools,” White said.

White is also part of the Trinity Handbell Ensemble, which plays a concert for the children at Sunshine Cottage every year. After performing last semester, she contacted the principal of the school, and has been planning the instrument petting zoo since then.

“Sunshine Cottage is a school for mostly hearing impaired children, but they use cochlear implants so they can all hear … the principal said they really like music, but because the school is for the deaf and the hearing impaired they don’t get a lot of interaction with it. Trinity and the music department have been pretty good about trying to invite them to stuff,” White said.

This is supposed to be an event with a wide range of instruments, so any instrumentalists on campus who are interested in getting involved can do so. At first White just contacted the people she knew would be interested in participating, but she got a lot more responses than she expected.

“There were a few instruments we were missing. So I emailed the orchestra director and [he] emailed everything out to all of the orchestra, and I got a lot of responses,” White said.

Up to this date, there are about 20 people who are taking their instruments to Sunshine Cottage on Nov. 10.

Almost all the logistics are planned out and ready for the event. The school has about 200 children in total, but the instrument petting zoo will be happening from 2″“3:45 p.m., when only the elementary school-aged children have a break.

The idea is to have tables or stations based on instrument groupings, where the kids can walk through and listen how the instruments sound.

Instruments include band instruments, a guitar, a ukulele, a steel drum and others. White is very excited about the event, and is hoping to keep it happening on a semester or yearly basis.

“If I can talk to the principal and kind of set the groundwork with him, maybe it will be easier for whatever music ed. kids, or just music kids in general, are interested in doing it. Then they’ll just have to email him and schedule it to keep it going,” White said.

Any other instrumentalists or musicians who want to join the event, or are interested in more information, can email Ana White at [email protected] to get involved.