Our school is a Title One school. Though our students come from a variety of backgrounds and families including many military families, the majority of our students are living in poverty, mixed generational households, multiple families, or single parent households, as well as homeless families and families living in shelters. Our food backpack program, in which we send food home with students for the weekend, serves over eighty children; and our free and reduced lunch serves 67 percent of our population.
My students have the opportunity to not only see the local symphony perform, but to perform along with them. The symphony has partnered with a national symphony to bring the program to the students in our area. The curriculum is a big undertaking and the students have been working all year to not only read music, but to interpret it in a musical way and to memorize all the pieces to be concert ready.
The students participating will learn what it means to be a performer, a sensitive musician, and the dedication to be part of a team that makes beautiful music with a taste of what their futures hold.
This process builds character, as the students learn good study and practice habits. They are also engaged in their own learning and motivate themselves and each other to push forward and do more with their music. My students are now comfortable giving each other constructive feedback and are proactive in helping each other other to build confidence. It truly warms my heart to see them all work so well together to be a successful ensemble.
This is just a step in their musical careers, but it is a pivotal moment for them. To have the success of performing with a live city orchestra will allow my students to take ownership and be proud of their accomplishments. In the next year, my students will be moving on to intermediate school where they pick an instrument to play throughout the rest of their secondary schooling. So this trip will make an enormous impact on their lives and in the lives of their parents as well. It shows their parents that music is a possibility for their futures and continues the support of music in our schools.
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