The Mennonite Children’s Choir of Lancaster (MCCL) is pleased to announce a new internship opportunity for music education students at Lancaster Bible College (LBC). Interns may serve for one semester or a full year. During the internship, music education students from LBC will spend a semester shadowing an MCCL director during rehearsals, retreats, and concerts. 

MCCL is passionate about developing life-long musicians and learners, and we are thrilled to extend that mission to include educators through this opportunity with LBC’s music education department. Each MCCL director has been shaped and influenced by the passionate choral educators we have learned from over the years; we are grateful to contribute to the development of an impassioned, joyful, and skilled younger generation of music educators.

Sarah Wingard, MCCL Director of Carol and Concert choirs

The LBC Music Education program is designed to provide students with the tools to be effective music educators in a wide variety of music teaching contexts.  This internship partnership with MCCL allows our students to observe and participate in outstanding music instruction in a setting outside of the traditional school schedule.  In the weeks that Grace has been working with MCCL, I’ve seen her perspective on choral music education grow and her “choral toolbox” fill with new and useful tools she can use as she continues to pursue a degree in music education. We are very excited about this partnership with MCCL!”

Rachel Sidebothum, chair of the music education department at Lancaster Bible College

This spring, Grace Fafel, a LBC sophomore music education major with a concentration in vocal performance, is an intern with Carol and Concert choirs, MCCL’s elementary and middle school performing groups.

Recently MCCL asked Grace a few questions about her experience so far as an intern with MCCL. 

What have you enjoyed about being a part of MCCL rehearsals? What has surprised you? 

“I love being a part of rehearsals and getting to watch each student grow in confidence as they learn more skills. It is fun to observe students from lower elementary all the way through high school becoming more confident in their presence on stage and musical ability! Something that has surprised me is how capable even the youngest students are at making really beautiful music. Sometimes it is easy to underestimate how much the little students are really able to do, but in this environment where they are encouraged and supported, they are able to accomplish and grow so much, which has been cool to observe firsthand!”

What are you learning that is helping you to grow as a music educator? 

“I am learning so much each week as I observe the students and educators. One of my biggest takeaways so far has been the importance of unity, emotion, and expression in music. The students are encouraged to find purpose in every word they sing, and the beauty of the music goes far beyond the accuracy of the notes and rhythms. It has been helpful to observe how the educators connect the emotion of the song to the technical skills being worked on.”

What would you say to someone considering a music education internship with MCCL and LBC?

“Do it!! Getting to observe and participate in MCCL rehearsals has given me skills that I know I will be able to use in whatever type of job I end up in, whether it’s with younger or older students, or in a classroom or ensemble setting. You will learn from educators who are skilled not only musically, but also in classroom management and instruction. Being involved with  MCCL alongside my education at LBC has allowed me to take the principals I am learning about in my courses and watch them being used by professionals and practice them myself. As a future music educator, this internship opportunity has been an encouraging and inspiring welcome to the profession!”