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Music in Motion at Renewal Center

Posted by Administrator (admin) on Sep 12 2017
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“She is woman. She is mother, daughter. She is a person. She is strong, smart. She is passionate, courageous, generous. Cooking barefoot is only one of several superpowers. She is action, emotion, devotion. She has hope, beauty, power. She has a brain and she knows how to use it. She gives you life. She gives you respect, love, gratitude. She believes in you. She will nurture you, fight for you. She deserves nothing less from you.”

Our sisters in Bethlehem were recently treated to a wonderful performance by Dr. Anetta Pasternak, a musician who was staying at St. Francis Center for Renewal to teach a music education program so prestigious that it has even penetrated former Communist territory. 

Attracting some of the finest young musicians in the Lehigh Valley and beyond, the Institute for Jaques-Dalcroze Education is owned by Dr. Jack Stevenson, husband of 1968 St. Francis Academy graduate Debbie Karabin. 

The institute provides hands-on experience of the Jaques-Dalcroze method: Eurhythmics, Solfège, and Improvisation, in addition to Jaques-Dalcroze Pedagogy, Philosophy and Plastique Animèe. This education in musical movement prepares candidates to earn the Jaques-Dalcroze Certificate and License.

Jack is dedicated to preserving the authentic traditions he experienced first-hand in Geneva while studying under Emile Jaques-Dalcroze himself. The rigorous music program, which incorporates movement as a main “ingredient” of the lesson, requires participation of music teachers in three levels. Expectations placed on students are high, and they move on with excellent credentials to teach wherever they choose.

The program is taught each summer in Mullen Hall and lauds our sisters for providing only the best in hospitality, comfort and support to the traveling students. The institute has installed special “cushion-tone” flooring to transform former classrooms into studios, which are outfitted with fine standard and hybrid pianos.

These courses currently run in Australia, the United Kingdom, Italy, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. Renowned internationally, Jack has taught teachers for more than 35 years, including recent residencies in Singapore and Japan.

As an instructor, Anetta (pictured at right) has helped to bring this program to areas in Europe that used to be Communist territory. Now, with her guidance and this particular program, the teaching has extended to many areas of Europe.

“Anetta teaches with devotion, respect and passion,” says Sister Barbara DeStefano. “She has a way of blending a high level of expectation from her students with a sense of reverence and respect for each person that has come to know her.” 

When Anetta’s fingers danced over the piano keys in the White House chapel on July 19, our sisters “were just mesmerized with her talent, as her fingers seemed to move with a balance of ease and speed and, at times, with no music score in front of her,” recounts Sister Barbara.

With all of this giftedness, education, experience – as well as all her education and extensive experience – somehow, Anetta has managed to retain a humble, simple spirit that is obvious to all who have come to know her. Our sisters were so very grateful to have met this gentle, gifted lady.

“When I see her ‘in action’ as she teaches and guides the music students, I find myself filled with awe and respect,” says Sister Barbara. “The rest of our retreat team feels the same.”

Last changed: Sep 14 2017 at 12:23 PM


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