Ashton Schimmelpfennig

Ashton Schimmelpfennig

Name: Ashton Schimmelpfennig
Instruments: Voice, Piano
Experience/Training: I have always been interested in music ever since I was young. I took classical music piano lessons from the ages of 5 to 17, which included learning how to read notes on a staff as well as sight-reading also. From the ages of 13-17, I took lessons to better my ear for music, which included learning how to chord and construct my own melodies. Both of my classical music and ear training lessons also included theory lessons so that I could learn the basics behind what truly makes up music. From the ages of 7-15, participated in the piano division of the Federation Festivals of Indiana, including both solo and ensemble work. During my 6th grade year, I participated in the Kokomo Children’s Choir under the direction of its’ founder, Laura Swartzendruber. Though I had been singing ever since I could speak, this choir increased my love for singing, and taught me how to sing and breathe with the proper technique. In the fall of 2011, I began attending Western High School. At this time, I immediately became involved in Western’s Choral Department and continued my involvement until I graduated in the spring of 2015. Under the direction of Western’s choral director, Janel Baker, I began studying voice and furthering my music education by learning more about theory, sight-reading, and proper singing/breathing techniques. While at Western, I was involved in the all-women’s choir for one year, Pink Panthers, and then was selected to join the curricular, Varsity Choir for the next three years. During my sophomore year, I was selected to participate in an extra-curricular, all women’s choir called Women in Black. During my sophomore, junior, and senior year, I was selected to participate in the extra-curricular ensemble called Western Vocal Jazz. Over the course of my junior and senior year, I was selected to participate in the Butler Vocal Jazz Festival under the direction of Dr. Tim Brimmer (Music Professor at Butler University) and Cheryl West (Late Director of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir), as well as the Indiana All-State Honors Choir. In my last three years of high school, I achieved several awards through the ISSMA program, including all gold ratings at the regional and state levels for solos, ensembles, and large group competitions. During high school, I was also involved in the Howard County Musical Festival, which gave me the opportunity to work with many local music students and various, well-known choral directors. Before graduating from high school, I was given the honor of receiving the National School Choral Award, which recognizes students from all over the United States for their dedication to their musicianship and their school’s choral department. I then became a substitute teacher in August of 2015 and have substituted in various grade levels, including music and non-music classes. I have also been blessed to perform with other Rhum instructors and students, and have enjoyed getting to make music with these local musicians. 
Why I teach music: I believe that God has given me the talent to be a musician, but I also believe that He has given me a passion to teach others. Music has always been a way for me to express my feelings, and I want my students to be able to do that as well. I want my students to develop a love for music, whether it be through playing an instrument or singing, and I want them to develop a love for sharing their talent with others. I believe that music has the ability to bridge gaps between people, and I hope that my students will use their music to build relationships with others (including myself). Though I may have a particular way that I initially approach teaching music to my students, I fully believe that everyone has a different learning style; therefore, I am willing to try different teaching methods to best accommodate each student. My goal is that my students take away two “positives” from every lesson: 1) I want them to feel as though they have learned something new that they can use in the future, and 2) I want them to have a greater sense of confidence and musicianship.