October 23, 2020
In response to the ongoing health crisis, the Harmony Program has developed an original series of YouTube-based, beginner music lessons, called “Harmony at Home.” This free, year-long series will begin next month and consist of weekly, 30-minute lessons in music fundamentals. Our hope is that music educators will incorporate these videos into their music classes and that children and families will enjoy them at home.
Elementary School Students
These lessons are designed for elementary school students
in grades two through five (or ages 7-10).
The series content is aligned to the New York City Department of Education’s
Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Music with content focused on beginner music theory, music appreciation, and music-making (percussion and singing).
No instruments are necessary.
Lessons are available, free of charge, on YouTube and are hosted
by “Miss Ella,” a seasoned choral and instrumental Harmony Program teacher.
Each lesson consists of three parts: a musical warm-up, the main lesson content (often including a featured guest), and practice instructions.
The series features a diverse array of prominent artists, including performers, conductors, and composers, as well as some of our Harmony Program students.
While “Harmony at Home” is not intended as a replacement for in-person instruction, this series offers students everywhere access to music lessons to stimulate and comfort them during this difficult time.
August 17, 2020
From April through May, a diverse roster of Young Concert Artists (YCA) musicians led a series of 10 video-based performances and mini-lessons for our students as part of our “Community Continuo” partnership. These presentations on the flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, and viola (viewed 1,000 times by our home-bound students across the city) focus on lessons drawn from our Harmony Program curriculum and include topics such as “The History of the Music We Practice,” “Dynamics and Articulation,” and “Breathing Properly While Performing.” Building on our successful partnership, YCA musicians are continuing to support our students during our summer camp with special performances and master classes.
July 15, 2020
In addition to the Harmony Program’s own summer sessions, 46 of our students are taking part in other virtual summer camps. Thirteen students will participate in the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp; four students will attend the Elisabeth Morrow summer camp; five students have auditioned successfully for the Manhattan School of Music’s summer program; thirteen will attend the Inside Music Academy; eight are registered for the Mark O’Connor Fiddling Camp; and three will be part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s YOLA National Festival.
June 29, 2020
Following school closures in mid-March, the Harmony Program transitioned entirely to remote instruction and provided students with over 112 hours of lessons to wrap up the spring term. Students accessed instrumental and choral classes, tailored to their proficiency levels, using private YouTube videos, Google Classroom, Google Meet, Zoom, and Soundtrap, and viewed them 4,475 times. Additionally, our teachers and staff held weekly “office hours” to support home-bound students with one-on-one engagement in real time.
Following the spring semester, The Harmony Program’s eight-week summer camp began on Monday, June 29th. Participating students had access to 15 hours of instruction each week in group lessons, including drum line, world music, music theory, alternative styles, music history, ensembles, and masterclasses with guest artists. We also provided students with targeted private lessons for extra one-on-one instruction and support during this challenging time.
June 29, 2020
On Friday, June 29th, Harmony Program students premiered their first original composition, alongside musicians of the New York Philharmonic, via Facebook Live. The piece, which they called, “Transitioning,” is a powerful expression of their experiences during the pandemic and represents weeks of collaborative effort learning to develop, write, share, and edit their musical ideas online. We thank Jon Deak, founder of the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Project, and our team of Harmony Program teaching artists for introducing our students to the art of composition as well as our colleagues in the Philharmonic for performing alongside our budding composers.
May 19, 2020
The Harmony Program has partnered with Young Concert Artists (YCA) on Community Continuo, the goal of which is to provide continued music education and comfort to all of our students affected by the global pandemic. Each week, a YCA artist offers an online performance and lesson focused on an element of our curriculum.
Trailers of the Community Continuo lessons created thus far can be found here:
March 23, 2020
Since the NYC schools were closed on March 16th, the Harmony Program has offered continued music instruction via weekly online lessons, available to every Harmony Program student on a private YouTube channel. Each week, our teachers record a virtual lesson for our students to follow along with. Students are also encouraged to participate in “practice challenges,” which they can record and share with their teachers.
We hope that our continued instruction during this pandemic is a small comfort to our students in these trying times. We believe in the empowering and therapeutic nature of music, and it’s a great joy to be able to continue to provide that to all of our students.