For 120 New Haven Public Schools students, vacation from school doesn't mean taking a break from music. During the NHPS Winter Break (Feb. 16-19), the Music in Schools Initiative hosted its annual Winter Festival for students across New Haven. Nineteen Yale School of Music graduate students participated as Teaching Artists, providing instrument-specific instruction, leading sectionals and ensembles, and developing close relationships with their students.
Each morning, band, strings, and choir students representing 23 schools assembled at Lincoln-Bassett School and Fair Haven School. Students enjoyed a variety of music instruction, including private lessons, small sectionals, and large ensembles, working closely with both NHPS music educators and Yale School of Music teaching artists. The result was a week of joyful music-making in a welcoming (and warm!) environment.
The Festival culminated with a performance for family and friends, as well as a much-anticipated pizza party! The collaboration between NHPS music teachers and YSM teaching artists is a vital aspect not only of the Winter Festival, but of the Music in Schools Initiative as a whole. It is the belief of Music in Schools that music education thrives within a partnership between public schools and private organizations. The Winter and Spring Festivals are free to any New Haven Public School student in grades 4-8. The Music in Schools team is already planning for the 2016 Spring Festival in April!