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Wayzata Elementary String Program Oral History Project: Interview with Helen Loing
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Helen Loing is a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and a Master of Arts in Musicology degrees from the University of Minnesota. Her instrumental studies centered on violin and among her teachers were Clifton Jackson, Jenny Cullen, and Raphael Druian. Early in her career she was employed in several Minnesota schools, teaching band and vocal music in Orono, and music, choir and geography in Robbinsdale. After the birth of daughters Kari and Inger she became very interested in the Suzuki method of early childhood education and attended the American Suzuki Institute in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, with her children who were beginning string study in the Wayzata School District. Helen was persuaded to fill the elementary string position in Wayzata in early 1975 following the sudden death of Gloria Chell in the fall of 1974. During her twenty years within the Wayzata district through the collaboration of Helen, Barbara Lamb and Sandra Haines the elementary string program expanded several times over and was transformed to combine the strengths of the Suzuki method with the advantages of traditional string pedagogy. At this time Helen was extremely active with the Suzuki Associations of the Americas, where she served as a member of the Public School Committee and as a clinician at the American Suzuki Institute for twelve years. Nationally known for her role in an immensely successful public school program, Helen was chosen Minnesota ASTA (American String Teachers Association) Outstanding Music Educator of the Year in 1993. After her retirement, Helen and her husband Ole pursued a wide array of interests, including bicycling, skiing, birding and Norwegian folk arts but grandparenting was undoubtedly the activity that brought them the greatest joy. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Helen reviews some of the early history of Wayzata elementary strings, describes the circumstances of her coming and the structure of the program at various points during her career. She talks about the advantages of the Suzuki method in the schools, the difficulties, the modifications that were devised and the struggles during various school board cuts. Helen describes the work of colleagues Barb Lamb, Sandra Haines and the parents of children within the program, and the impact the string program had within her own family. Because she holds a strong belief in the immense value of early music education in the life of the child, the interview is filled with heartening stories. COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: Helen follows the interview script, which she received ahead of time, closely and often refers to it during the interview.
1.5 hours sound cassette
35 pages transcript
Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
01:26:04 running time
Interviewer: Weber, Lynne
Interviewee: Loing, Helen
Made in: Wayzata, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 109 (Library Call Number)
AV2007.12.24 (Accession Number)
MHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Wayzata Elementary String Program Oral History Project'