Hindi Greenberg: Music enhances life for everyone
I remember when my grade school field trips were full of the excitement of getting out of school for the day, anticipating a new experience, and hanging out with classmates.
Because of the pandemic, the annual spring field trip for third-grade students to attend a concert sponsored by InConcert Sierra was canceled for the second year in a row. So instead, the program chose to bring a music education experience to the students.
In past years, InConcert Sierra invited students from every third-grade class in western Nevada County to a free classical concert. During the week before the concert, docents from the program would visit the classrooms to give the third-graders insight into what they were going to see and hear at the upcoming concert.
InConcert Sierra paid for buses to bring the students from the various school districts to the concert venue. Each student was given a ticket to the concert. At the door of the concert venue, the ticket was collected to give the students the experience of attending a “grown-up” concert.
Then renowned professional musicians from the Third Sunday Concert Series performed and interacted with the students to give them a delightful, thought-provoking and immersive musical experience. Third-graders would talk about the concert for weeks afterward, and InConcert Sierra received dozens of appreciative letters from students, teachers and parents.
Because of COVID-19 and the inability to host live performances, this year’s third-graders missed that musical experience.
To ensure the world-class experience wouldn’t be completely lost, InConcert Sierra purchased access to four musical education video presentations from the internationally-known wind quintet WindSync.
In March 2018, that quintet had played in the Third Sunday Concert and then, the following morning, conducted a well-received concert for third-graders, so InConcert Sierra knew the video presentations would be excellent learning tools. These videos were offered to all the third-grade teachers in Western Nevada County for free, accompanied by written lessons prepared by Artistic Director Ken Hardin, specifically to assist the teachers in their presentation of the music to their students.
WindSync’s interactive and imaginative programs introduce the five wind instruments (oboe, clarinet, flute, horn, and bassoon), teach some musical terminology, encourage rhythmic participation, and cultivate an early appreciation for classical music.
The four programs for the teachers’ use: “Stories in Sound” (54-minutes), “Peter and the Wolf” (10 minutes), “Hoedown Rundown: Meet the Wind Instruments!” (6 minutes), and “Apollo | VII. Moonwalk” (2 minutes).
In addition to touring internationally and throughout the United States, the members of WindSync have led master classes at New World Symphony, Texas Music Festival, Florida State University and Northwestern University, among others.
This season WindSync spent weeks in residence as visiting artists at the University of Texas Butler School of Music and Eastman School of Music. The quintet has also served as ensemble-in-residence for Adelphi University, the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington (Kentucky), the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and the Grand Teton Music Festival.
More information about this program for teachers and other InConcert Sierra education and concert programs are online at http://www.inconcertsierra.org. As for all of us, this pandemic pause year has been difficult for both students and teachers. Our intention at InConcert Sierra was to help third-grade teachers provide their students with excellent music education experiences.
WindSync was a favorite of many in the past, and we are delighted to help the artists and our local school kids with this opportunity. Parents of third-graders, did your kids love their musical lessons?
Hindi Greenberg is the incoming president of InConcert Sierra’s board of directors.
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