We strongly believe that classical music can be educational for and attractive to children, and we achieve this part of our mission through the Youth Program. Launched in 1994 with the arrival of music director Paul Phillips, the Children’s Program provides third and fourth graders in Franklin County with six weeks of music learning as well as hands-on components, and concludes with a field trip to a morning concert in the Greenfield High School auditorium.
One of the key facets of Pioneer Valley Symphony’s mission is to introduce children in Franklin and Hampshire counties to classical orchestral music. Every year, we have an educational program that consists of a six-week unit with teaching materials for third- and fourth-grade public school classes, culminating in the Educational Concert, where 1,000 students come and hear the full orchestra perform the pieces they have been studying.
About the Program
Imagine busloads of children spilling out into the parking lot one April morning, lining up, and walking into the hall. The 1,000-seat auditorium is filled to capacity. Well behaved and highly expectant, the students respond enthusiastically to Maestro Phillips’ questions, applaud loudly, cheer their favorite section or players of the orchestra, or chant “Mozart, Mozart, Mozart!
The children’s program is designed for music educators and their students, and the program repertoire is drawn from the Orchestra’s current season. As part of the six-week curriculum, children receive a handbook, and their teachers receive a CD with the concert pieces that they can play in their classrooms. PVS Orchestra members also volunteer their talents by going into the classroom – sometimes individually, sometimes in duos, trios, and quartets – to help youngsters appreciate orchestral music or learn an instrument. Shortly before the concert, orchestra members visit schools to demonstrate their instruments, giving the students a personal experience that will leave a lasting impression.
Support for Music Education
The Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation has played a leadership role in making this program possible by generously underwriting a large portion of the program for the past 12 years. In addition, the PVS has been successful in finding support from a variety of sources including gifts from local businesses and individuals. Help us keep the Children’s Program going strong. Your gift to the PVS Fund will support our continuing efforts to educate Franklin County’s children through music education and enable them to experience live symphonic music in the Pioneer Valley!