You can never have enough music

By John Masko, staff columnist
Yale Daily News

I’ll admit that I was a bit greedy for music as a freshman. It was a great perk of going to a first-rate university to be able to see the greatest musicians in the world for free. I could take a study break and walk two blocks from Old Campus to Sprague or Woolsey halls. And if I was just 10 minutes early, I could sit in the front row and see the hunched but boundlessly energetic Masaaki Suzuki (one of the world’s greatest baroque performers) conduct the Yale Schola Cantorum (one of its finest chamber choirs) in some of the best music ever written.

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It took a little while before it began to strike me as odd how many seats always seemed to go empty during these fabulous events. There was the occasional graduate student or elderly retired-looking professor. But my amazing front-row seat meant that many of my classmates were neither aware of nor experiencing the privilege I experienced just by walking two blocks. MORE

Published September 13, 2013
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Yale harmonizes music and literacy in local schools

It is Tuesday morning at John C. Daniels Magnet School. Class is in session and the building is quiet, save for faint music echoing down the sunshine-flooded halls.

Inside the music auditorium, more than a dozen sixth-grade students perch in front of music stands, flutes, clarinets and trumpets in hand. Some play Brahams, others Christmas carols.

Music classes like this one are increasingly rare in American classrooms, as budget cuts continue to threaten the scope of public-school curricula. But here in the Elm City — in a school district plagued by limited funds and a shortage of teachers — a town-gown partnership has made music a priority. MORE

Published February 25, 2009
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Share the Music comes to city schools (originally published in the Yale Daily News)

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When Austin Kase ’11 was a high school student in New Jersey, he noticed the dearth of musical instruments at public schools. To fill the void, he launched Share the Music, a program that accepts donated instruments and places them in music classrooms.

Recently, Share the Music became an official undergraduate organization, collaborating with other Yale groups, such as the Class of ’57 Music Education Project, to reinvigorate the halls of New Haven schools with the sound of music. And after receiving a $600 Sudler Grant from the Office of Masters, the group set out to make a documentary that tells the story from the group’s inception and includes interviews of teachers, students and donors in the program. The theme, members interviewed said, is to express why music education is important.

“Music education is so vital,” Naomi Woo ’12, one of the students spearheading Yale’s involvement with Kase, said. “Whenever I’m stressed, I play the piano. Whenever I have a lot of emotion, I play the piano. It’s a really great feeling and it’s a really great thing to be able to do.” MORE

Published February 25, 2009
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