Community Outreach: Kids Love Opera!
We are committed to introducing opera to children from kindergarten to sixth grade in a way that is exciting and entertaining, leaving the students exhilarated and enriched with a music form that many have not yet had the opportunity to hear and see.
One of the strengths of our program is the enthusiastic participation of the students. Working together with the music teachers in each school, we design a unique program of selections from opera featuring 3 singers from the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges Grant Program. Through their teachers, the students learn short selections from the music being performed and join with the singers during the program.
“I must admit to being somewhat concerned when I learned that opera singers would be performing for us. Well, I have to tell you that I could not have been more pleased and amazed by the end of the three assemblies. Our children were rapt! I have been working in elementary schools for several years and this was one of the best musical experiences that I’ve seen children exposed to.”
Greg Middleton, Assistant Principal, Mamaroneck Avenue School, White Plains, NY.
“A few months ago, my children came home to tell me they were going to be studying opera, learning songs and seeing a performance. They actually seemed excited and I embraced this enthusiasm by asking them questions after every music class. I made a special effort to be there on the day of the performance. And then, the singers began. What magic! The children were so mesmerized, so engaged by the performance. They were ENJOYING it. I really got a kick out of hearing all of the children sing the Toreador song with the professionals. It truly was a day my children have never forgotten, and to this day they still sing the songs they learned through your program.
Michelle B., Parent
In the weeks before the performance, the teachers introduce the selected music to their students through recordings, teaching students to sing key melodies, such as the first few lines from the Toreador song from Carmen.
At the assembly our singers describe the text and story line of the materials they will be singing, using the same gestures, emotion and movements to portray the character that they will use when they sing. This enhances the children’s delight and understanding. The performers sing in the original languages of French, German and Italian. At certain points in the performance the students participate singing the melodies that have learned from their teachers.
Through this program we enrich the lives of our school children and their parents and create new audiences for opera.
Career Bridges supports the New York State Learning Standard by providing the opportunity to experience the world of opera through learning the selections in class, listening and then participating with the performers.
For further information please contact
David S Bender, Artistic Director, Career Bridges