The Lyric has brought chamber music to more than 5,000 elementary school students since our first masterclass with Jean-Pierre Rampal in April 1998. Our educational outreach in the New York City schools is part of our commitment and our responsibility to introduce children to classical music. From Concert Master to blossoming performer, our virtuosos have performed in New York City schools from P.S. 1 in Chinatown to the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem and Bronx Prep. Glenn Dicterow, Concert Master of the New York Philharmonic; Carter Brey, Principal Cello, New York Philharmonic; Mark Gould, Principal Trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera, and the Moscow String Quartet are among the many musicians who have shared their love of music through Lyric educational outreach. The Lyric is delighted to be sending our virtuosos to perform and teach at the Harlem Day Charter School, at the request of and with funding from The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation.
Lyric Classical Carousel - Music Education for the Whole Family
In 2001 the Lyric created a series of concerts for children and families at the West Side YMCA. Over four seasons, Lyric Classical Carousel concerts introduced audiences to the different sections of the orchestra - brass, woodwinds, percussion, strings-as well as to music that falls outside the Western tradition. From the flamenco of Clásico Español, performed by the American Bolero Dance Company, to "Scraping, Shaking & Striking" with the New York Percussion Quartet, with the Russian Duo of Tamara Volskaya and Anatoliy Trofimov, and to the flavors of East and West in klezmer, Lyric musicians performed exquisitely, answered questions, and invited children to participate actively in the performance-eager to encourage future music-makers and audiences.
The Lyric in the Community, Broadening Perspectives and Fostering a Sense of Achievement:
Because the high caliber and dedication of Lyric artists differs from others in the field, we are able to provide exceptionally gifted teachers who are also virtuosos of their instruments. That is an extremely rare combination, and we are proud to be working weekly at the Harlem Day Charter School, where we have been developing a program over the last three years. We are at a crucial stage, wanting to expand our activities to serve more children within the school and to introduce our artists and our programs to children in underserved areas at additional schools which have no such music programs.
Our versatile musicians are equally comfortable in classical music as well as jazz and have demonstrated and taught their instruments to spellbound children; unusual combinations of instruments, like saxophone and trombone, marimba and a battery of percussion, bassoon and clarinet have delighted our young audiences, their teachers and interested parents who might otherwise never hear such memorable ― and often life-changing ― performances. As musicians and educators, we understand how important music is to the development of a child, and we are seeing numerous examples of its positive effect weekly during our lessons, workshops, and assemblies.
At Harlem Day Charter School, we began with weekly, group keyboard lessons with Richard Bishop, Piano, our Artist-in-Residence, a prize-winner at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and duo-recitalist with world renowned artists like Isaac Stern.
Last year, we provided group lessons: Each week of the school year, we had Lyric artists teaching small groups of 10. Mr. Bishop continued his keyboard lessons, started in 2005 and we added in 2006, our artist-teacher, Pablo Rieppi, Percussion, who performs with the New York Philharmonic and teaches at major universities in the NY area. Thanks to funding by the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, we have already purchased keyboards and percussion instruments for the use of the children in these classes.
Both artist-teachers instructed the children in the basics of music and their instruments: rhythm, note reading and writing, and ensemble playing, with stories about music and musicians. The groups of children selected change every semester, giving an initial, hands-on experience to youngsters that otherwise would not have such an opportunity.
This season, we added clarinet, with Ben Baron as our artist-teacher. Yuko Kato taught keyboard, and Lorne Watson percussion.
Assemblies: Our virtuosos have performed for the entire student body, faculty and interested parents at all-school assemblies. They show how their instruments work, discuss their lives as musicians, and demonstrate their art. Additional funding would enable us to have more frequent concerts for the entire student body.
Workshops: Last season we introduced a series of workshops in which children composed, performed and recorded their own music under the direction and supervision of our performing artists and guest educators.
In 2007-2008, we received a prestigious grant from Chamber Music America. The Residency Partnership Program brought Mad Fusion, an acclaimed trio of classically-trained jazz composer-musicians, into the Harlem Charter School twice during the year for a series of special workshops. Each session explored a variety of different musical styles and culminated in a public concert with the students and the artists.