Dennis Van Dyke, Music


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I began teaching music at Black Fox in the fall of 2009.  Each year has brought new blessings and joys. Watching my students grow in their musical abilities brings me deep satisfaction. Additionally, I am the Minister of Music at a local church.  I enjoy writing songs, playing the piano and guitar, singing, working out, reading, and arranging music for my church choir.

Before cell phone ringtones, bad music in TV commercials, and other trite musical forms, human beings created music to express their deepest feelings.  As music developed, great composers came along and gave the world music with a breathtaking depth of glory and profundity.  In our present time, I believe that society is gravitating toward cheap and easy forms of expression. More and more of us are unable to appreciate great music or express ourselves with true musicality.

As a music teacher, my goal is to help my students develop into musicians who are able to express themselves with musical depth. By the end of first grade, I want my students to be “tuneful, beatful, and artful”, as Dr. John Feierabend said so beautifully. Rhymes, simple songs, echo songs, and exposure to great classical music are the source materials used with them.  Once students have this foundation, they can move on in subsequent grade levels to develop a deeper sense of melody and rhythm. They do this first by ear, using solfege and rhythm syllables, and later learn to notate music as well as compose music. 

I believe all human beings have an internal desire to make music.  When students develop musical expression, it improves their emotional health and helps them foster a greater sensitivity to their fellow man.  This is why music education is so important for all students.