This spring ETM piloted a "Teaching Artist Concert Series" to expand opportunities for our partner school students to hear live performances. Other outside concerts (such as those generously provided by The Marilyn Horne Foundation) have been so successful that ETM became interested in sponsoring additional performances that would be closely aligned with ETM's curriculum.
In March and April, students at P.S. 76 and 121 in the Bronx, P.S. 102 in Manhattan, and P.S. 3 in Brooklyn heard a condensed version of the opera "Hansel and Gretel," composed by Engelbert Humperdinck, performed by ETM Teaching Artists Jennifer Greene and Malena Dayen. At P.S. 3, this performance served as an opening activity to the 2nd grade's study of fairy tales. As a concluding project, the students performed their own fairy tale opera version of Billy Goats Gruff for Met Opera bass Morris Robinson (see story). They drew on their experience with Hansel and Gretel to create their opera and the set.
Students at P.S. 69 in the Bronx and P.S. 155 in East Harlem attended "Javier's Jelly n' Jam Session," presented by a group that included Teaching Artists Kim Garey and Dan Blankinship and ETM Field Supervisor Chris Marolf. The players introduced students to the parts of a jazz rhythm section and to the tenor saxophone. After hearing a few jazz favorites-including "When the Saints Go Marching In"-students were invited to try playing the bass, drums, or piano.
Teachers and students alike enjoyed the concerts. As one academic teacher wrote in an end-of-year survey, "The concert was magnificent. I think it gave the children other ways to interpret music. It also introduced them to music they had never heard before." Another exclaimed, "I loved it. The kids loved it. I would love to see much more!" In a thank-you note to the performers, one student wrote, "I liked the show. It was great. Bravo! Bravo!"
With new support from the Emily Davie and Joseph S. Kornfeld Foundation, ETM plans to provide two concerts to each of our partner schools during 2007-08.