September 27, 2013
For the past two weeks, our teachers have participated in professional development workshops on topics ranging from lesson planning and assessment to cognitive development and classroom methods.
One of our newest teachers, Angela Shankar, told us, “I’ve learned several new strategies from the teacher training program that have provided me with concrete ideas to implement in my classroom.”
This year’s workshops were was our most comprehensive yet. Nearly 30 teachers received over 25 hours of training, which they’ll soon put to use in classrooms across the city.
September 9, 2013
To top off our summer program in Brooklyn, the Harmony Program Brooklyn Youth Orchestra, featuring musicians from our P.S. 194 and Flatbush YMCA locations, had the opportunity this weekend to perform at the Brooklyn Harvest Fest.
The sun was shining and the kids were thrilled to be performing for such a large crowd. Thanks to New York State Senator Parker and our partners at the Flatbush YMCA for giving our students such a memorable experience!
Check out the gallery on Facebook.
September 8, 2013
The Harmony Program is all about community, and it brings us great joy to share our work all of our friends, families, teachers, supporters, and partners who make it possible.
So, over the past few months, we developed a new Harmony Program website to more clearly represent who we are, what we do, and how you can get involved. We hope you’ll take a look around and let us know what you think!
(P.S. If you have a moment, please fill out a quick feedback survey to let us know how we’re doing.)
July 25, 2013
Our summer orchestra programs in Brooklyn and Manhattan began on July 8th and will continue through the last week of August. These programs, which meet every afternoon, are a great opportunity for our students to work on advanced repertoire as ensembles and strengthen their skills in small-group lessons.
When we stopped by to visit a recent orchestra rehearsal in Brooklyn, we asked the students how they liked meeting every day to work on music during summer break. Their responses?
Angelo: “I love it. I wish we were here for four hours instead of two.”
Malik: “It’s summer, so it’s our time off, but when I heard that Harmony would be meeting over the summer, I knew that I had to come. I didn’t want to miss this. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun to play music.”
Our teachers are also seeing the benefits of being able to work with their students when school is out of session.
Sarah:”In the summer, the students come and play for two hours and then they go home and have time to continue playing. They get so much more practice time and we’re definitely hearing the results.”
William :”We’re able to extend the range of what we’re doing in addition to the music that we have in front of us. All of my students are learning new notes, working on sight reading, breaking into trios and duets — so it’s been really great.”
It’s exciting to see and hear the progress that our students and teachers are making. We hope that you’ll join us in the coming weeks as our orchestras hit the stage to share what they’ve been working on all summer.
May 31, 2013
This month, Harmony Program students in Harlem, Washington Heights, Brooklyn, and the Bronx celebrated their accomplishments and performed for family, classmates, and friends from the community.
It’s truly inspiring to see and hear our students take the stage and work together to make music. From section leaders in our orchestras to new students who’ve learned so much in such a brief time, all of our students make a serious commitment to learning music, and our spring recitals are their opportunity to share what they’ve achieved.
Check out this video of our beginner brass students at PS 194 performing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” and stay tuned to Facebook for pics from all of our concerts this month.
May 4, 2013
For the past two years, we’ve been fortunate to work with the musicians of the West Point Band, who have worked with our teachers and students in the classroom and at special events and performances.
This week, the West Point Band’s Quintette 7 performed at P.S. 129 to an extremely enthusiastic crowd of students. Pieces included “Angry Birds” and “Mario Brothers,” both of which were received with screams and dancing. After the program, Quintette 7 performed a couple of instrumental features for our students and answered questions from the young musicians.
Kristen Mather, one of the West Point musicians, told us “The West Point Band believes strongly in supporting tri-state area schools and their children through music education, and the Harmony Program is at the forefront of efforts in New York City. Their work epitomizes values such as goodwill and selfless service, and our musicians have been honored to collaborate with Harmony to bring events to the students of Harlem.”
April 27, 2013
On Thursday, April 25th, the Chelsea Symphony presented an evening of music for our students and families from the Washington Heights community. The evening was led by Julie Desbordes, Harmony Program teacher and newly appointed Associate Conductor of Education and Outreach of the Chelsea Symphony.
Children met the musicians of the orchestra, explored their instruments in an instrument “petting zoo,” learned how to bird whistle and make flowers with crepe paper, and discovered literature and poetry related to the spring season.
Later, the orchestra presented a concert featuring music in the spirit of the spring season: “Spring” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, “Morgenstimmung” from Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite , Copland’s “Variations on a Shaker Melody”, excerpts from Beethoven’s “Pastorale” Symphony, and lastly, the “Voices of Spring” Waltz by Strauss.
Thanks again to Julie, the Chelsea Symphony, and all of the musicians and teaching artists who helped us celebrate the new season.