For the past three years, students at the Paul Banks K-2nd Elementary School in Homer, Alaska have been spending part of their school week learning to play violin. The ‘Paul Banks Preludes’ program was inspired by the JAMM music program in Juneau, which itself was inspired by the El Sistema music program in Venezuela. Kindergarten and 1st grade students have violin sessions three times per week, while 2nd graders have optional after school sessions twice per week. The program is open to every student, including those with special needs.
Thirteen Valdez High School students, three teachers, and a number of family members recently returned from the Dublin Choral Festival in Ireland. The group toured with Music Contact International for a seven-day experience full of music, culture, art, history, and architecture. During the tour students visited monastic ruins in the Irish hills, toured the Edwardian inspired Dublin Castle built atop medieval ruins and experienced the levity and local flair of a century old pub. Continue reading ‘Is Maith Leis a Bheith Ag Seinm Ceol!’ (Irish Gaelic for ‘I like to play music’) by Valdez City Schools Superintendent Shawn Arnold and Sam Jordan at ASDN
Violins, trumpets, flutes, bassoons, cellos…and recorders! In January 2019, all fourth and fifth grade students in the Juneau School District attended the annual ‘Music in the Schools’ concert, sponsored by the Juneau Symphony and Any Given Child. This year, some 800 students were bused to Juneau-Douglas High School for an interactive concert inspired by a special curriculum developed by Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program. Continue reading ‘Violins, Trumpets, Flutes, Bassoons, Cellos…and Recorders!’ by Taylor Young, Music Teacher in Juneau Public Schools