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Minnesota Sinfonia – Music In the Schools
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 8:30 AM

Concert presentations at 8:30 and 9:30 in the Commons.

Music in the Schools (MIS) is an arts presentation that is designed to support required learning in selected core academics (math, literature, history, science and social studies). MIS is a program of education using the arts, and is developed using local and national educational standards as its framework. Rather than merely show up, play a concert, and leave, the Sinfonia's Music in the Schools establishes partnerships with each of the Minneapolis and St. Paul Schools it visits. The schools agree to incorporate classical music into their curricula for several months, and we supply the tools. From a CD which familiarizes students with our concert program, to a curriculum guide that links the music to core content learning units, to classroom visits by our musicians and performances for the entire student bodies in their home schools, we support both a greater familiarity with classical music, and also enhanced learning. MIS focuses on a different academic discipline each year. Examples include Music Tells a Story (literature with the primary focus being Shakespeare and Tchaikowsky’s versions of Romeo and Juliet), The Magical Mysteries of Math and Music (which uses Haydn’s Surprise Symphony to help explain a variety of mathematical concepts) and History as Seen Through Music (using Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait to study the civil war).

Each school makes a two to four month commitment to integrate the Sinfonia curriculum and music content into regular classroom studies, and to familiarize the children with the music to be played by the Sinfonia. Artistic Director Jay Fishman attends staff meetings at each school to introduce the orchestra’s program and curriculum. On the day of the orchestra visit, each classroom hosts a 10-15 minute session by one of the musicians. This “personal” time lets students get to know the performer as “a regular person” who followed his/her dream to become a professional musician. Following these get together sessions, the Sinfonia performs two 45-minute concerts at each school, one for the primary grades and another for the intermediate. The program includes lively interaction between students and the conductor, along with special guest soloists and story-tellers. School choirs and orchestras also perform with the Sinfonia during the concerts, making these performances truly exciting and inclusive experiences.

The Minnesota Sinfonia’s commitment to our public schools is total and unwavering. The orchestra works with over 20 schools of Minneapolis and St. Paul’s public schools and 12,000 of our community’s children every year. The goal is to increase those numbers to forty schools and 25,000 children!

Music in the Schools is one of the most creative and important programs of its kind in the entire music industry. A sampling of recent reactions from teachers, students and administrators verifies its successes and the need for its expansion.

Visit for more information.

Be sure to see Steve in their promotional video!