ROCHESTER, NY March 21 becomes "Music-for-All Day" this year as string quartets, woodwind trios, brass quintets and other assorted chamber ensembles from the Eastman School of Music perform in city, private and suburban schools around the area.
This marks the first time that a single day has been set aside for the classroom performances, and 29 Eastman ensembles are scheduled to play and talk to elementary and middle school children throughout the day. Each group will prepare a different program. Most of the appearances are in Rochester City School District schools.
The "Music for All" program was created several years ago as part of the Eastmans effort to bring music to people in the community. Besides performing in schools, each student ensemble also plays in hospitals, senior citizens residences, for civic organizations and elsewhere. Following "Music for All Day," each of the 29 groups will present a program in another community setting between March 22 and April 7.
"The idea is to reach out with the message that music can be a part of life," explains Kathleen Bride, director of Eastmans Music for All program and professor of harp. "For some children, this may be the first time theyve seen a live music performance. This might be the spark that gets them interested in learning to play an instrument."
For the Eastman students, these performances provide an opportunity to share their love of music by talking about what they do as well as playing their instruments.
"We want our students to realize that a big part of their future involves learning to communicate with their audiences," says Bride. When they go out into the community for the first time, the students often are a little nervous. "When they come back, theyre so excited. They get so much out of this."