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GRAND VISION NEWS

Why Music Education?

4th and 5th graders learn the foundations of music thanks to Grand Vision's Meet The Music

Many of you know that Grand Vision Foundation was created because the San Pedro community was passionately resolved to save the Warner Grand Theatre, an iconic art deco movie palace, and transform it into a performing arts center, now well used and beloved by all.

Many of you also know that the Grand Annex was founded because Grand Vision believed that the community needed an accessible gathering place to experience excellent music and events in the heart of San Pedro.

But you may be wondering why Grand Vision expanded its outreach mission in 2009 to include music education in our local schools. We all know that education in the arts is important to children’s development, but why the Meet the Music program, and why fourth and fifth grade? We believe that music is life, and we have seen children come alive through music to engage more fully in the world. We want to give them the tools that will help carry them into middle school and life, and this is why.

Grand Vision believes that all students need equitable access to the arts, and that music can open a window leading to greater knowledge of themselves, the world and their choices. Did you know that most low-income schools in the LA Unified School District (LAUSD) offer little to no consistent music education? Students can go through their entire K-12 academic career at LAUSD without a single music class, and often do. The new LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King stated at a recent luncheon given by the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, “I can’t imagine an education that doesn’t include music and the arts. It would be a world of black and white, without any color.” With that knowledge at the helm, change is sure to be coming. Grand Vision is proud to be a community arts partner of LAUSD, working in collaboration to contribute to a robust education that includes the arts for all students in the LA Harbor area.

Meet the Music programs bring the world of music to fourth graders and builds musicianship with fifth graders because these students have the emotional capacity to learn deeply, the motor dexterity to learn quickly, and are in the critical period of brain development that helps music learning to “stick” so that they can build upon it through their entire life.

This year, over 800 fourth graders in our Roots of Music Program (RoMP) attended three world music concerts at the Grand Annex bookended by in-school lessons. Throughout the program, students learned the foundations of music (rhythm, melody and dynamics), international songs and cultural traditions from around the world. They also interacted with real artists - performers who joyfully shared their traditions - African drumming, African American spirituals, American Folk, and Son Jarocho music - giving students a new appreciation of diverse cultures and people. Students began to see themselves as artists who could sing, dance, write and play instruments, and as people with important stories to tell.

This year, Grand Vision teaching artists led our Recorders in Schools program, teaching over 460 5th graders to play the recorder, read music and perform as an ensemble in weekly lesson in their classrooms. That’s double the number of students served last year, and we are on track to continue expansion in the next several years until all 5th graders at our target schools have access to instrumental music. This program works! Classroom teachers embrace the program as partners to ensure student success, and students have reported that music “gave us a break from boring work,” “was the best part of my week,” helped learn math,” “showed me to keep trying and trying,” and helped them make more friends in their class. We were also able to witness the pride of parents, teachers and principals as students demonstrated their new skills and sense of unity during recital performances.

Music is part of what makes us human, and we believe every child has the right to it. That’s why Meet the Music fits Grand Vision’s mission. But that’s also why we created Team Taiko, a community engagement program teaching low income English Language Learners to play and perform Taiko drums. And that’s why the Grand Annex is full of enthusiastic music listeners and world class bands every week. And that’s why we support the Warner Grand Theatre as a center for the Performing Arts. We believe that the arts and community build one another up, and that without them, it would just be a world of black and white, without any color.

Meet the Music is supported in part by grants from: Jerico Development, Crail-Johnson Foundation, California Community Foundation, LA County Supervisor Don Knabe, California Arts Council, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), U.S. Bank, Malaga Bank, MHT Wheels, Southern California Edison, and Wells Fargo.



Article Posted: 6/1/2016