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SAN PEDRO, CA – January 2014 - Grand Vision Foundation (GVF) was recently awarded $10,000 from the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF) to sustain and develop the Meet the Music youth music education program.  This highly competitive grant program is funded by the Port Community Mitigation Trust Fund and supported by the Port of Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners.  Of 62 applicants, GVF was one of 19 grantees.

The HCBF attracted proposals that addressed five priorities: beautification, education and training, safety, employment, and community.  In line with HCBF’s education and community initiatives, Meet the Music addresses the need for strong arts education, which provides a step for students to perform better academically, stay in school longer, and learn to value public arts events and participate in community through the arts.

The goal of Grand Vision’s Meet the Music is to enrich and improve the quality of life for 3rd-5th grade students from Title I public schools in the Los Angeles Harbor Area by introducing music fundamentals, the art and discipline of reading and playing music, and musical traditions around the globe.  Meet the Music takes place in LAUSD classrooms and at the historic Warner Grand Theatre and the Grand Annex, GVF’s music venue in San Pedro.

Meet the Music is composed of three music learning initiatives: 1. A series of live world music concerts for youth preceded by in-school lessons taught by a professional music educator; 2. a pilot program teaching 4th graders to read music and play the recorder, and 3. an annual LA Opera performance at the Warner Grand Theatre.  This year’s LA Opera performance will be on Wednesday, January 15, 2014.  1200 third-sixth grade students have been invited from seven schools in San Pedro and Wilmington.

Nicole Fiamengo, Fourth Grade Teacher at Harry Bridges Span School in Wilmington, CA is already seeing work habits change in her students who are taking the in-school recorder class. Students are completing assignments ahead of time to be ready for recorder lessons.  Other students discuss practicing music at home.  

Ms. Fiamengo’s student, Claudia Rodriguez feels that “the lessons are making the class into a team because we practice together during recess and got to play a recital for other students at the Grand Annex.” Claudia also said that she never thought she''''''''''''''''d have the chance to play music, and now she can. She even played for her family on Thanksgiving Day.

“We really appreciate this opportunity with Grand Vision’s Meet the Music to bring music in the students’ lives.  Many of them simply would not have this chance,” said Ms. Fiamengo, and she added, “we know how important it is the study the arts to learn more about the world, to be a good student, and become a real community participant.”

Meet the Music’s 12 annual world music concerts held at the Grand Annex offer many students their first live concert experience.  For these students, our program has helped to broaden their cultural experiences, setting the stage for greater involvement in the arts and civic engagement.

Lora Caudill, LAUSD Instructional Coach states, "Meet the Music is a window to the world. The program sparks students'''''''''''''''' interests on multiple levels - musically, culturally, geographically, and creatively. The students are proud of their new knowledge."

Article Posted: 1/9/2014

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