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Children Dance and Sing Their Way to Music Learning

Published by: Crystal • On: March, 29th 2016 • Under: Community Connections

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A. Ward (24)
The fall session of the PianoKids program at Artemus Ward Elementary School.

Last fall CIPC ArtsConnect launched PianoKids, a music outreach program for pre-school children. The program was designed as a two part presentation: one to introduce the children to basic musical concepts, a second to build on what they learned. This month, Andris Koh (cello), Aniela Eddy (violin), and Natsumi Shibagaki (piano), will return to the schools – and several hundred very excited children – to present part two.

Using song, dance, simple instruments such as egg shakers, and fun learning aides like colorful scarves, the children will be taught the basics of pitch, scales, arpeggios, rhythm and meter. And this won’t be a sedentary classroom – they will be up on their feet, engaged with their teachers and each other, having fun and learning the concepts of music at the same time.

“The response to our fall sessions was overwhelmingly positive,” said Sophié van der Westhuizen, Director of ArtsConnect. “Every school said the kids talked about it for days afterward and they’re all really looking forward to the spring sessions.”

Major support for the 2015-16 PianoKids program was provided by the PNC Foundation, and van der Westhuizen received planning assistance from the Education Committee of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, whose members are listed below. Be sure to take a moment to view photos from the fall sessions, which were taken by Jon Theobald, one of CIPC’s very dedicated volunteers.

Education Committee
Carolyn Wipper, Chair
Edward Alix
Peggy Demitrack
Don Herman
Vera Holczer
Lee Maxwell
Zoya Reyzis
Martha Towns
Claudia Woods

PianoKids Participants
Fairmount Cooperative Preschool
Miles Park Elementary
Goodrich-Gannett Neighborhood Center
Lexington-Bell Community Center
Case Elementary
Wade Park Elementary
Artemus Ward Elementary
East End Neighborhood House
Willow Elementary
Merrick House
Robinson G. Jones Elementary