While listening to a PBS report on NPR back in February, I learned about an organization in New York City called the Harmony Program. They serve students from 3rd-6th grade in a free after school music program. The children were preparing that day for a concert with accomplished singer and conductor, Placido Domingo.
Students participating in the program are given free instruments and instruction daily after school. Over the course of the school year, they receive more than 300 hours of group instruction. While this is astonishing, the even better part is that this program helps engage children who might otherwise fall victim to the ills of street life plagued by many low-income neighborhoods.
The Harmony Program is wonderful, but the original idea came from an organization called EL SISTEMA that was founded by José Antonio Abreu in Venezuela back in 1975. This organization has touched more than 300,000 students with free music instruction including some children with disabilities.
For me though, the best part of the report was when one of the students said “Sometimes its hard not to smile…when I play that first note in class, it makes me smile.” Says Joshua Deshommes, a fifth grader at P.S. 152.
His statement shows just how enjoyable the study of music can be and how valuable a music program is in children’s lives. Students also learn to become self-reliant and build their self-confidence in other areas of school as well. It has been observed that students in the program attend school more regularly and have higher marks than those not enrolled.
Don’t you wish every school could have a program like this that was so concerned with building the whole child? Educators of Kindermusik curriculum are just that, concerned with whole-child development.
Come find out for yourself how I can help you with your child’s development. You can preview a Kindermusik With Dominique class for Free anytime. A new session of classes is set to begin mid-May.