Sunday, March 25, 2012

Harmony in Music and Effort

The Harmony Program is a New York-based non-profit music education organization that “provides daily after-school music lessons to children from economically disadvantaged communities. Harmony’s unique model taps the city’s college- and graduate-level music students as teachers, training them to develop the talents of young people who would not ordinarily be exposed to music education.”

The program is modeled on a popular music project started in Venezuela 36 years ago called El Sistema. It’s a social activity that is less about music than about developing the child. Music is used to help children commit to something, including time and effort. And the music is also used as a tool to teach children to listen to each other, and to give them the sense that they belong to something. It gives them self-confidence. Since it was started in 2008, students in the Harmony Program have attended school more regularly.

Public school 129 in Harlem is one school that has adopted the Harmony Program. It is offered every day after classes to 3rd through 6th graders from 3:00-5:00 PM. The students are provided free instruments and free instruction, as well as a safe and supportive environment to develop their talents, strengths, and potential.

The Program is funded through private donations. Learn more here.

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