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School of Music

How To Achieve Peace Through Music is Focus of College Alumni Lecture

Liz Shropshire will give the

Homecoming alumni lecture on how her musical expertise has helped children around the world.

Liz Shropshire, a College of Fine Arts and Communications alumna, will be giving a lecture titled “Teaching Children Peace Through Music: The Life-Changing Impact of Music Education for Children in War Zones.” The lecture will take place on Oct. 5 at 11 AM in the Madsen Recital Hall of the Harris Fine Arts Center. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in music composition and theory from Brigham Young University and a graduate degree in composition for the music industry from the University of Southern California, Shropshire pursued a successful career as a composer for the stage, screen and church as well as a music educator. However, in 1999, she heard an NPR broadcast that changed her life. The subject dealt with female refugees in Kosovo. Shropshire was moved and decided to find some way to help. After traveling to Kosovo with the Balkans Sunflower Organization, Shropshire realized she could use her own knowledge and expertise to help young women in the war-torn community. She began teaching the harmonica and pennywhistle to isolated teenage girls. Soon after, interest spread to the younger girls and boys in the area. Shropshire expanded her lessons and realized the impact music can have on young people.

Since establishing the Kosovo Children’s Music Initiative in 2000, Shropshire has worked to improve the lives of children not only in Kosovo but in Uganda, Northern Ireland and most recently, Syrian refugee camps. From 2000 to 2001, the Shropshire Music Foundation was organized with the mission to teach children, through music, that they have the power to choose peace instead of violence and to become leaders in their communities. Liz Shropshire has been awarded the College of Fine Arts and Communications Alumni Achievement Award for her powerful and long-lasting contribution to children around the world.