Exposing children to music and art leads to a deeper understanding of content. It’s a natural connection for teachers to offer their students.
CABOCES hosted the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and an audience of more than 1,300 elementary students and teachers for 2 interactive concerts at the Olean High School on September 26. The BPO, led by conductor Stefan Sanders, kicks off their Student Concert Series each year by transporting a 60 piece orchestra to the Southern Tier.
The concerts combined not only a variety of musical selections, but also original poetry commissioned for the BPO, story-telling and active audience participation. It was more than just a concert, it was an educational show that connected NYS elementary curriculum with music. The audience was prompted to sing along, in both English and Spanish, as the musicians’ accompanied them. In essence, the young students performed with the BPO.
Afterwards, a Scio teacher remarked: “We haven’t been able to come to this for several years. I’m so glad we could come this year. We enjoyed every single minute of it! I loved how the BPO made it interactive for the kids and encouraged them to move and sing!”
Each year a talented team of music teachers, staff and musicians develop the School Concert Series. This year the theme was a focus on community and working together. The BPO Education department linked their performances to the Common Core Learning Standards. This provided a unique opportunity to inspire Kindergarten through Fifth grade students and enhance the ELA, Literacy, Social Studies and Art Standards that are being taught in the classroom. To ensure a strong foundation for “Our Orchestra Community: Same and Different” (Kindergarten-2nd Grade) and “The Power of Listening” (3rd-5th Grade), the BPO Education Department provided curriculum material for use in the classroom. All districts received these resources prior to the shows. Teachers were encouraged to use the resources to prepare their students for the performance. The information is also available on the BPO website (https://bpo.org/community-engagement/education/for-educators/curriculum-resources/)
Robin Parkinson, BPO’s Director of Education and Community Engagement, summed up the day this way: “The BPO is incredibly proud to start our season of youth concerts in Olean each year, performing for our neighbors in Cattaraugus and Allegany counties. It is gratifying to be able to take the orchestra on the road and play for students who can’t make it to Kleinhans in Buffalo.”
Thank you to Wellsville, Scio, Hinsdale and Olean school districts for allowing their students to attend and promoting the arts in their education. CABOCES Arts in Education helps schools enrich the lives of their students by providing opportunities to experience the performing arts. If the concept of music as education piques your interest, please call CABOCES Student Programs at 716-376-8284 to find out more about Arts In Education, CoSer 403.
By: Jean Oliverio, CA BOCES Student Programming