With the 2001/2002 season, the Los Angeles Philharmonic embarks upon a new intensive and comprehensive music education residency in five local elementary schools involving students, teachers and parents. This year, the PARTNER SCHOOLS program will bring Philharmonic musicians and musician/educators to selected schools to engage over 1000 third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders in music education residencies and performance programs. In addition, seminars to educate teachers of all subjects about bringing music into their classrooms as a teaching tool, and, to teach parents about introducing their children to music at home will be held twice during the year. The program will expand to area middle schools and high schools over the next two years.
The PARTNER SCHOOLS program also gives participating fifth graders the opportunity to create a movement of a new musical work by composer Michael Gondolfi. At the culmination of the residency, the students perform their new composition for other students at their schools alongside professional musicians.
Llewellyn Crain, Director of Educational Initiatives for the Philharmonic, says of the new program, “We are enthusiastic about bringing music education to students through PARTNER SCHOOLS, since its hands-on nature will help them, their teachers and parents to incorporate music into their lives more fully. We believe that by learning about music, and by creating and performing their own music, children will develop an appreciation and deeper enjoyment of classical music.”
The goal of the PARTNER SCHOOLS program is to engage children and teachers in music both through curricular integration and the study of music as a discipline. Music education has been shown to improve learning in all subject areas and to increase the likelihood that students will attend college.
Participating schools, selected from almost 50 applications, include: Breed Street Elementary School in Los Angeles; Loyola Village Elementary School and Music Magnet in Westchester; Moffett Elementary School in Lennox; Santa Monica Blvd. Elementary School in Hollywood; and Washington Elementary School in Burbank. Schools were selected on the basis of diversity of student body, geographic location, variety of levels of previous musical exposure and school-based music programs, and the level of commitment demonstrated by teachers and administrators.
More about PARTNER SCHOOLS: Orientation and Workshops
The program began in September with an orientation at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for the 45 teachers and principals from the various schools. Teachers received a guidebook that helps them extend the lessons of PARTNER SCHOOLS into their everyday teaching.
This was followed by an all-staff development workshop at each school that addressed music integration into their various curricula. Participants received a study guide and CD to use in their classrooms. Teachers then attended two day-long Music for Educators sessions that dealt with music by different composers (including Schoenberg and Prokofiev) and concerts by the Philharmonic featuring the works by those composers. These sessions are designed to encourage teachers to think broadly about music and culture. An additional workshop program will be held in the spring of 2002.
Workshops were also held in the fall with parents to discuss why music is important in their children’s lives and ways of bringing music into their homes. They received a guide called “Music for the Family” and a list of free music events and resources in Los Angeles. These workshops were heavily attended and were conducted in Spanish where necessary. An additional parent workshop is scheduled for the spring of 2002.
PARTNER SCHOOLS Student Participation:
In early February, students from all five schools will attend a Los Angeles Philharmonic Symphonies for Schools concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, entitled “The Evolution of the Orchestra.” Students attending will have learned about the orchestra in class with their teachers, prior to coming to the concert. With their participation in PARTNER SCHOOLS and by attending a symphony orchestra concert after some classroom preparation, each child then develops a deeper level of appreciation and enjoyment of music.
After attending training sessions in January, Los Angeles Philharmonic musicians, along with several musician/educators, will visit the five schools over eight weeks beginning in February, conducting six music-making sessions with the children.
From February through April, third and fourth grade students will learn basic musical concepts using recorders and percussion instruments, some of which they will build themselves. Through learning to play instruments, they will learn skills needed in all areas of learning including discipline, focus, and listening.
At the same time, fifth graders will receive basic composition instruction. These fifth graders will also create a different work of music that is based on a composition for a small string and woodwind ensemble created especially for this program. Written by Michael Gondolfi, the piece will have three movements; one of which will be composed and performed solely by the students.
PARTNER SCHOOLS Planned Expansion:
During the 2002 season, the program will expand to involve teachers, students and parents from five local middle schools. Following that, in the 2003 season, PARTNER SCHOOLS will add five local high schools, for a total of fifteen schools benefiting from this innovative program in its first three years.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic PARTNER SCHOOLS Program is supported by an Arts in Education Demonstration Project grant from the California Arts Council, a State Agency. Additional support is provided by the Capital Group Companies. The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Education Programs are supported, in part, by Anonymous; Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.; The Los Angeles County Arts Commission; City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department; California Arts Council, a State Agency; Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation; The William Randolph Hearst Foundations; Weingart Foundation; The Los Angeles Times and The Times Mirror Foundation; Union Bank of California Foundation; Binder Foundation; Morgan Stanley Community Affairs; and United Airlines.
For more information on PARTNER SCHOOLS or other Los Angeles Philharmonic education programs, call 213/972-0704.
Elizabeth Hinckley, 323/850-2047; David Barber, 323/850-2023