Arts4All Blog

Young Musicians Summer Honor Program

Posted August 22nd, 2017  |  By A4A.admin

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CSMA’s Young Musicians Summer Honor Program prepares graduating 5th grade students for their middle school performance ensembles. This annual summer opportunity is offered to the top-performing 5th grade Band and Strings students from the elementary schools in the Mountain View Whisman School District. Outstanding students are selected by their CSMA Music4Schools teacher, and invited to attend the Summer Honors Program. All students are awarded scholarships to the program, and attend three weeks of workshops and instruction at CSMA’s Finn Center.

The goal of the Summer Honor Program is to bridge the gap between the 5th grade and middle school music programs. The program inspires students, fosters an appreciation of classical music, enriches overall musicianship, builds ensemble skills through group rehearsals and performance, and provides an opportunity for students to become leaders in their middle school bands and orchestras.

During this summer’s three-week program, students participated in group rehearsals and music theory classes with CSMA music instructors Marcos Saenz (strings) and Kathleen Shulenberger (band). At the end of each session, the students gave a final performance in CSMA’s Tateuchi Hall.

All 55 participating students received a scholarship for the program, thanks to generous funding from CSMA and Silicon Valley League of the San Francisco Symphony. The League also sponsored the students’ trip to Davies Symphony Hall in March, where they attended a performance of music from composers Barber, Mozart and Dvorak by the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra.  For many, this was their first opportunity to attend a live orchestra concert.

We spoke to Melanie, a cello student who will be entering the Advanced Orchestra in her middle school, about her experience in the Summer Honor Program.

How long have you been studying cello? How often do you practice?

I started playing the cello in 5th grade. I try to practice 30-60 minutes every day.

Why did you choose the cello as your instrument?

I really like the sound of the cello. I wanted to be able to play together with my sister, who plays the violin.

What did you like best about the Summer Honor Program?

I learned second cello position and I learned new techniques. Our teacher really helped me improve when I felt like I was struggling. I liked being able to play together with the other students and their instruments. And I made a lot of new friends!

Do you feel prepared for your middle school orchestra?

Yes! I feel better prepared. I’m looking forward to being in the orchestra when school starts, and I feel really confident.

See more photos from the Summer Honors Programs below.

Tags: music-school