Class of 1957 celebrates Music in Schools Initiative with young students

Last Friday, while in town for their 55th reunion, members of the Yale College Class of 1957 had lunch with young students from New Haven’s John C. Daniels School. The two groups joined together to celebrate YSM’s Music in Schools Initiative, which is supported by the class.

Michael Yaffe, the associate dean of the School of Music, said to the class: “I was not at Yale when your class decided to support the School of Music in the creation of a series of music education activities. But I have always imagined the conversations amongst you all… Somehow the idea stuck, and an indenture was written, and money was raised.”

The endowment established by the Class of ’57 provides for three components of the Music in Schools Initiative: YSM’s programs in New Haven Public Schools; a biennial symposium for public school music teachers; and a series of visiting professors at the School of Music.

In his talk, Yaffe detailed the ways in which the gift from the Class of ’57 has changed lives.

“Your gift and support have changed the lives of many people through music: probably more people than you can imagine and probably in more ways than you would imagine.

First, within the School of Music.

As most of you know, our graduate students are invited to participate in the Music in Schools Initiative. They are trained and then placed with a music teacher in a New Haven Public School. In that role, they coach individual students, they conduct ensembles, they lead small groups, they practice with the students, and more basically they become role models and mentors for many kids from homes and lives that desperately need this kind of support and example. So it is obvious that this helps the young children from New Haven, but what has been surprising and exciting is how many of our young, pre-professional graduate students have altered their career course (or more likely expanded their career options) through the work they have done in the schools while at Yale. MORE

Published June 7, 2012
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