With the ability to see, hear, touch and play a variety of instruments, the Kawartha Youth Orchestra (KYO) is hoping to rouse a curiosity and ultimately introduce young people to the benefits of playing music.
“The goal of Orchestra Discovery Day is to expose children and youth to classical music and the instruments of an orchestra,” Ann Millen, project co-ordinator, UPBEAT! downtown recruitment, education and outreach for KYO and Junior KYO, tells Electric City Magazine.
“Interestingly enough, researchers have found that the correlation between music education and better academic achievement was most significant for students practising instrumental music.”
“We offer an interactive program which uncovers historical timelines and the birth of orchestral music, as well as instrumental demonstrations.”
The event features a conducting segment by Michael Newnham, KYO music director and conductor, which allows members of the audience to participate.
Playing music can have a significant impact on young people. Studies in the past have shown that those students who participate in music have significantly higher scores on math, science and English exams than non-musical students. “Interestingly enough, researchers have found that the correlation between music education and better academic achievement was most significant for students practising instrumental music,” Ann notes.
There are other benefits as well.
“There are many situations since I’ve been involved with the KYO where I’ve seen youth in the orchestra who have been struggling to find where and how they fit into society, and music has definitely been the catalyst for this positive change.
“Music knows no barriers and is accessible to all regardless of obstacles they may be up against.”
What is the best thing that could happen from the day? “Maybe some kids will be won over by the art of classical music or some will be motivated to make music and may even come to play with us,” Ann says.
Being involved in the youth orchestras brings together like-minded individuals. “These young people enjoy a challenge, are committed to improving through practice both independently and in group situations.”
The time commitment varies for both orchestras. The senior orchestra, KYO, rehearses from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Sundays with two breaks and opportunities for fellowship with other instrumentalists. The junior orchestra, JKYO, rehearses Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m.
Overall, Ann says, music develops self-regulation, self-esteem and self-efficacy amongst young people. In addition, “long-lasting friendships always evolve from these programs.”
Those interested in participating are asked to register by Nov. 15.
The cost of attending Orchestra Discovery Day is $5 per child, $10 per family and $100 per school.
Contact Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 705-927-0768 for more information.
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