Monday, April 11, 2016

Fourth graders experience the magic of music

Elementary school music teachers across the city have been working to inspire fourth grade students to participate in band and orchestra. To do that, they partnered with Symphony NH’s "Picture This" program, designed to teach students how to identify themes, characters, locations and events while listening to music – and thus develop a deeper appreciation for what they hear. 

Components of Picture This include a string or wind quartet performance by Symphony NH musicians in Manchester schools. The culmination of these music lessons for fourth graders was a field trip to Central High School to hear a full Symphony NH concert. More than 1,000 students – all of Manchester’s fourth graders – attended the performance on April 11.

“It gave all of our fourth graders an experience they won't soon forget, while enriching their learning in a way that is not possible in the classroom,” said Jessica Makris Welch, music teacher at Wilson Elementary School.  “We hope they will be inspired to create music of their own!”

Central High School music teacher Ed Doyle was instrumental in coordinating Manchester schools’ participation in Picture This. He also teaches in several elementary schools and initiated the program here, as well as arranging for Central to host the Symphony NH concert.

Picture This and its related performances are supported through the Frederick Smyth Institute of Music, NH Charitable Foundation, Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation, Cogswell Benevolent Trust, McIninch Foundation, Madelaine von Weber Trust, and Samuel P. Hunt Foundation. The Frederick Smyth Institute of Music increased its funding to Symphony NH in order to provide Manchester schools the opportunity to participate.

In addition, Makris Welch set up a project page to fund the transportation costs for the fourth grader classes from all 14 elementary schools to attend the concert at Central. Along with attracting several individual donations, Makris Welch’s appeal was the fortunate recipient of the fundraising site’s “flash funding” day last month when a generous donor, Tim Ferris, completed the $2,500 goal with one large contribution.

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