The primary focus of the UCMP work for the upcoming year will be to launch program operations at two school sites in three initial cycles: an introductory session beginning in March 2012, an intensive summer session during July-August 2012, and the 2012-2013 pilot program session.
The UCMP introductory session will launch on March 19 – June 15, 2012. During this 12-week-session, 50 students from Preschool through Kindergarten will attend a “Paper Orchestra” music immersion program on Mondays and Fridays for one hour at the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Center for Early Childhood Education, a public school in Union City (Site One).
A Paper Orchestra teaches children the fundamentals of playing in an orchestra with instruments made out of paper-mache. For younger children ages 3-5 entering an orchestral program, it is important to have a period of preparation that introduces them to the instrument, posture, performance, and the orchestra as their community.
During this time, students acquire basic musicianship skills and develop an appreciation for their instrument. Moreover, the physical creation of the paper instruments gives children a sense of ownership over their music education and helps to instill in them a sense of community within the program. At the end of this session, children will perform in a recital to parents, school staff, and public officials.
The 2012 summer session will be comprised of the 40 graduating students from the Paper Orchestra who will transition to using real instruments. Children at this site will begin music lessons with string instruments like violin, cello, and viola for one full month, meeting Monday through Friday, one hour each day. Students attending the summer session will continue onto the 2012-2013 pilot program.
There will be 80 students in the 2012-2013 pilot program: 40 newly trained students from Site One and 40 new students from Sara M. Gilmore School, Hudson Schoon and Veteran’s Memorial School which will be part of the second site. Site Two will be held at the Veteran’s Memorial Elementary School with children from first through fifth grade, ages 6 to 11. These students will receive orchestral music instruction Monday through Friday from 3:30-6:30pm. They will begin with choral and rhythm work and will be introduced to voice, music theory, and choices in string, woodwinds, brass and percussion instruments within the first month.
In addition to their daily music instruction, students will have homework time and receive a nutritious snack. They will also participate in retreats, field trips and intensive workshops. The UCMP will hold a recital for families and the community in Winter 2012, Spring and Summer 2013.