Boca Symphonia performs at
October 5, 2006
Hillel Day School
By Nicol Jenkins
"What's the great thing about instruments?" asked Jeffrey Kaye to a group of fifth-graders.
"You can play anything you want," Kaye said.
Kaye, a principal trumpet player and orchestra manager for the Boca Raton Philharmonic Symphonia, then showed fifth-grade students from Hillel Day School of Boca Raton how to play the trumpet.
Jeffrey Kaye, principal trumpet player and orchestra manager for the Boca Raton Philharmonic Symphonia, plays the trumpet and tells children about the importance of music.
Along with members of the brass quintet of the Boca Symphonia- including Veselin Bozhilov, Matt Henderson, Yu- Ju Sun, and Georgi Shterev- Kaye played a variety of classical music for the youngsters including Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, and forties swing. Children stared in awe at the site of a musical concert taking place in the classroom and enjoyed the sounds of the French horn and the low bass of the tuba.
|Members of the brass quintet for the Boca Symphonia.
The musical show is part of the program called the Boca Raton Philharmonic Symphonia 2006 Young People's Concerts. Members of the Symphonia visit fifth-grade classrooms across Palm Beach County to educate youth about music and instruments. Then the Symphonia hosts a musical field trip and concerts Oct. 17 and Oct. 18 at 10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. for fifth-grade students at Boca Raton Community High School.
Dr. Gail Burnaford, a Florida Atlantic University (FAU) professor, worked with the Palm Beach County School District and the Palm Beach County Cultural Council to add more arts organizations into the school curriculum. Burnaford said the Boca Symphonia asked her to be a part of adding music to the classroom. The music curriculum ties in with fifth-grade social studies curriculum.
"The arts organizations and the schools are working together on curriculum that is meaningful to the students and relates to what is being taught in the classroom. These are not disconnected fieldtrips, they are meaningful learning experiences," she said.
Burnaford said a decline in arts education has become a national problem.
"Since the No Child Left Behind requirements have changed, art programs in schools have eroded. Principals have to make the choice between which programs to cut and reading and math are top priority," she said. "However, in Palm Beach County there are many arts programs."
Her graduate assistant Olga Vazquez, who's currently pursuing a Ph. D. in Comparative Studies in Fine and Performing Arts at FAU and also co-coordinated the educational curriculum, added, "This curriculum has been created so they can incorporate it into the school system for years to come. It's not just for a one time use."
The Boca Symphonia members started the program because of a lack of musical education.
"So many kids are not getting music in the schools today," Kaye said. "We see this as one of our important roles to provide music to the students, educate them on the instruments we'll be playing and hope they'll become future concert goers."
Kaye also hopes some of the students spark an interest in joining a band.
"It's being part of an ensemble and having the team experience," he said.
Fifth grade teacher Diane Groendyke said there's no music curriculum offered at the school. Programs like the Boca Symphonia's helps to fill the void, she added. She will also teach students the historical significance behind music and about composers before the concert.
"We want the children to have an appreciation of music and to also learn many types of music," she said. "Since there's no music curriculum, we'll take any chance we can get."
Fifth-graders said they enjoyed the various instruments.
"I liked the trumpet because it's really high pitched and the trombone because it's cool how he stretched his arm out to make the sound," said 10-year-old Ruby Marriott.
Lexi Riche, 9, added, "I like all the instruments because the music makes me feel happy."
Jonathon Kennedy, 10, however said he learned something unusual.
"I learned that you could use a toilet plunger to play a trumpet. That was weird," he said.
For more information, contact BRPS at 561-376-3848.
Nicol Jenkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or
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