Monday’s Bow (June 4)

American Youth Philharmonic OrchestraWe were very excited to see a feature piece on the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras , which gave their “Grand Finale” concert yesterday on June 3 at George Mason University. Cheri Collins, a writer here a String Visions, has played an integral role in the AYPO as conductor in the past; she is now the artistic director of the Capitol Symphonic Youth Orchestras.

For nearly 50 years, the Fairfax County-based American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras have offered an opportunity for orchestral training and performance to young musicians. But the AYPO also does something very special as a champion of giving back to the community; it offers a unique program called the Music Buddies Mentorship Program.

Music Buddies enables older members of AYPO to provide free, weekly private music lessons to younger students who might not be able to afford them. There also are scholarships available to ensure that a talented musician can join the AYPO, regardless of ability to pay.

Peggy Adams, AYPO chair, noted that while the organization “provides the highest-quality musical experience that allows our students to grow as musicians and individuals, it is extremely important that we give back to the community and to public schools.”

“We want to help those musicians who cannot afford quality music instruction lessons. Through the Music Buddies program we carefully match our students who want to become mentors with students nominated by their public school teachers to become mentees,” Adams said.

According to Adams and Jack Walton, AYPO executive director, the Music Buddies program provides eight months of free, weekly private music instruction to those who might not be able to afford regular private lessons. The lessons are given by trained AYPO musicians interested in mentoring other students. Mentors receive training from a professional music educator every one to two months on how to teach younger musicians.

Read the full story: You can’t spell ‘metronome’ without ‘mentor’.

Other stories from the classical music world:

  • The Philadelphia Orchestra takes a 10-day residency in the People’s Republic of China
  • While the Philadelphia Orchestra journeys to China, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra deals with its affairs at home, reaching a deal with banks in a $54-million real estate debt issue that was pushing the DSO into bankruptcy
  • Unfortunately, despite composer Nico Muhly’s statement that the death of classical music is grossly exaggerated, not everywhere holds such optimism as Lancaster-based radio station WITF axes classical music
  • That doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate when things are looking up for one musician: violist Helen Bevin has just won a “dream” job as the principal viola in a 100-year-old Finnish orchestra
  • “In the summer months a curious thing happens in the classical music world: Musicians of note get on airplanes to perform at faraway venues with orchestras they normally do not interact with the rest of the year. And when they do, they are apt to perform something new and unusual.” (Read more…)

Finally, check out this fantastic video on how one woman plays classical music to her clients to “unlock deeper levels of creativity and clarity.”

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