Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Festival has been offering its music education programs online since late March. Leanne DeVane, the Festival’s Director of Education & Outreach, says that Hilary Schacht, who teaches group and private violin lessons for the Strings in Our Schools program, and Jamie Kim, who coordinates the Dream Big Private Lesson Program, have shared that students are continuing to benefit musically and personally from their weekly lessons, despite a set of new and unexpected circumstances.
“Students say and demonstrate that connection is key,” Ms. DeVane notes. “Their weekly lessons provide purpose, hope, confidence, and validation as well as immersion in the soulful beauty of music. This is all occurring within the context of a social crisis, which is deeply challenging, of course. Students are isolated in their homes,” she adds, “and they long for connection with their friends and school communities. Our caring music teachers are ambassadors of love and hope. What we’re providing for kids is real in a human sense. Dream Big and Strings in Our Schools are profoundly impacting the lives of our students.”
Below are two examples of the Festival’s recent education activities, which Ms. DeVane says “provide testimony to the artistic potential of our students.” The examples are video excerpts from a guitar performance at a December holiday concert and a choral performance at this year’s Music Performance Assessment, which the New Mexico Music Educators Association held in early March. Both performances feature students in the Festival’s Dream Big Private Lesson Program.
Thank you to everyone who’s helped make the Festival’s education programs a success, and congratulations to the programs’ students on their outstanding achievements so far!
A guitar performance at a December holiday concert.
A choral performance at this year’s Music Performance Assessment.