Saturday, November 21, 2009

Week 6: On-Site Visits to Boston Music Programs

This week, as part of our on-site visits to arts programs in Boston, the fellows visited the Conservatory Lab Charter School, which Larry Scripp, faculty member at NEC, helped charter. I shared his model Learning Through Music (LTM) model in my last posting. The school is very interested in starting an El Sistema program there next year and already has music woven throughout their curriculum. The school has a Learning through Music coordinator, general music teacher and a Suzuki string teacher who works with all students grades 1st through 5th grades. 

The Learning Through Music teacher works very much like the visual arts teacher in our Art is Elementary program at Glacier Valley, but the medium is music. She works collaboratively with the classroom teacher to apply music skills to other content areas as a way to build multiple pathways of understanding and deepen knowledge and comprehension. I'm very interested in following-up with the three music specialists to learn how their work supports each other and how they work with classroom teachers to provide a comprehensive and cohesive music literacy program. Our time was short, but the fellows were able to share a couple of songs and a dance at an informal gathering with several classrooms (see Rebecca Levi's posting which includes a video clip).  

As part of our site visits to other vibrant arts programs in the Boston community, the Abreu Fellows participated in a Boston City Singers choir and Suzuki violin rehearsal.  This program provides comprehensive music training for students grades K-12 at no cost.  Linda Money, the Artistic Director, and other key members of the program treated the fellows to a homemade dinner afterward, where we could informally share ideas and ask more questions about the program.  Both the rehearsal process and the dinner conveyed a warmth and family feel that explains why so many children remain in the program throughout their K-12 schooling.  Thank you, Linda, and the Boston City Singers community for your generous hospitality.



Homemade Dinner with Members of the Boston City Singers

We also visited the Boston Children's Chorus as part of our time with Anthony Trecek-King who taught us basic choral conducting skills and rehearsal techniques.  When observing the choirs, we experienced first-hand how Anthony and his staff lay the foundation for and help their singers achieve musical literacy.


Michelle Adams prepares the intermediate choirs for their performance at this week's tree-lighting ceremony

Thank you to Tanya Maggi, Director of NEC's Community Performances and Partnerships program, for arranging our visits to the other inspiring arts programs in Boston:

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