FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 14, 2009
CONTACT: Marge Dwyer, Manager of Media Relations
27 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138
Amgen Foundation Supports Longy School of Music’s Expanded Music Program in the Cambridge Public Schools
Longy Students to Teach Youngsters at the Maria L. Baldwin School
Cambridge, MA – A generous grant from the Amgen Foundation in 2008 has allowed Longy School of Music to expand its Music by Design experiential education program and develop a partnership with the Cambridge Public Schools to build a long-term music enrichment program that includes residencies and workshops conducted by Longy students.
The program got under way last January, when Longy alumna and faculty member Isabel Aybar began leading a weekly Dalcroze Eurhythmics (music and movement) class for kindergarteners at the Maria L. Baldwin School. The program has expanded this new school year with Longy’s September appointment of four Conservatory students to serve as teaching assistants and support music staff and students in weekly classes at the Baldwin School. The 2009-2010 teaching assistants for the Baldwin School are David Mitten, woodwinds; Lu Qiu, strings; Grant Randall, brass, and Dee Jay Robinson, general music. In addition, Longy’s Conservatory class will provide outreach programs designed to complement the music program at Baldwin.
“The partnership will create opportunities for Baldwin students to interact with Conservatory students at Longy as well as at the Baldwin School,” said Longy Conservatory Dean Wayman Chin. “At Longy we welcome the opportunity to partner with neighborhood schools so that our students will be able to test their ideas in the real world. Through music the Longy students have the ability to provide inspiration to help transform the lives of the youngsters.”
"We are thrilled with the partnership,” said Elaine Koury, Director of Visual and Performing Arts for the Cambridge Public Schools.” It draws our children into the rich, world-class musical community that Longy represents." As testament to the success of the pilot program in the Baldwin School, Gil Cruz, a 2009 Longy master’s degree graduate, has joined the school system’s faculty to teach trombone at the city’s King and Amigos schools, and Richey Tally, Longy Class of 2005, is the new strings teacher. “This is an example of the positive developments that can happen as a result of this partnership,” said Cristina Catt, Chair of Longy’s Community Programs Voice Department and an instructor in the Music by Design program. As a Longy student, Cruz took part in the Music by Design program and designed an independent project that introduced children to wind instruments.
The music and movement class was a hit with the children, said Baldwin School kindergarten teacher Jessica DellaCalce. "The children really liked using the instruments including recorders and the xylophone,” she said, adding that she had incorporated activities from the class into the students’ daily routine, including clapping different rhythmic patterns to focus the students' attention during class.
Longy’s partnership with Cambridge Public Schools is made possible by generous funding from The Amgen Foundation. The partnership is part of Music by Design: Community Programs for Youth, which is also sponsored by the Cambridge Community Foundation, Biogen Idec Foundation, The Goldberg Charitable Trust, The James W. Rollins Charitable Trust and individual donors.
According to Dr. Steve Young, Executive Director at Amgen and Site Head for Amgen’s research facility in Cambridge, “Our partnership with Longy is a great fit with the Amgen Foundation’s mission to support organizations that make an impact in communities where Amgen staff live and work. We commend Longy School of Music for the high value that the organization places on creative thought and innovation while providing the freedom and encouragement to explore and strive for excellence.”
Longy’s Music by Design Program
Music by Design: Community Programs reaches out to disadvantaged youth and seniors in the Greater Boston area — promoting a lifelong love of music that stimulates young minds and helps keep elders young. Youth develop critical thinking and leadership skills, while seniors participate in programs that can help boost the immune system, increase coordination and improve general health and sense of well-being.
Launched In 2006, the Music By Design program is fueled by Conservatory students, who work closely with local schools and community centers to develop a unique music experience. In any given year, Longy’s Conservatory has between 215 to 225 students in its advanced degree programs. In addition to the courses and ongoing training to perfect musical skills, the degree candidate must participate in a one-year training that prepares them to work with diverse populations in the community.
Students work in class and with faculty mentors to determine target audiences, establish objectives and measures, design the musical content and initiate contacts in the community. Ultimately, these students bring outreach programming to a wide range of venues including in-school and after-school classes for K-12 public school students, senior centers and community centers. In addition to the Baldwin program, during the past year Longy has expanded the Music by Design program to feature a Senior Wellness Program at the United South End Settlements in Boston.
About the Amgen Foundation
The Amgen Foundation (www.amgen.com/citizenship/overview.html) seeks to advance science education, improve patient access to quality care, and strengthen the communities where Amgen staff members live and work. Since 1991, the Foundation has made $130 million in grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Europe that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways, and those that provide disaster relief efforts both domestically and internationally.
About the Cambridge Public Schools
The Cambridge Public Schools are blessed with strong community support, strong leadership, strong financial stability and a world class faculty and staff dedicated to educating every child. These factors allow the Cambridge Public Schools to offer small schools, small class size, a rich and rigorous curriculum, and a wide array of extra curricula activities and programs. To learn more, visit www.cpsd.us.
About Longy School of Music
Longy School of Music, founded in 1915 by renowned oboist Georges Longy, is a degree-granting Conservatory and school of Preparatory and Continuing Studies located in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school serves 225 undergraduate and graduate students from 37 states and 21 countries, and nearly 1,000 children and adults from the Greater Boston area. For all students, Longy provides a distinguished faculty that promotes profound musical understanding and technical mastery, encourages growth of imagination, and fosters inquiry about the role of music and the musician in the larger world. With a curriculum rooted in the traditions of Western music, Longy’s mission is to prepare musicians to make a difference in the world. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the National Association of Schools of Music. For more on Longy, visit our website at www.longy.edu.