Prairie Elementary celebrates Music in Our Schools Month

WORTHINGTON -- March is National Music in Our Schools Month, the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation. The theme for this year's Music in Our Schools month is "Music Inspires." According the National As...

WORTHINGTON - March is National Music in Our Schools Month, the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation. The theme for this year’s Music in Our Schools month is “Music Inspires.” According the National Association for Music Education, the purpose of Music in Our Schools Month is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children and to remind citizens that schools are where all children should have access to music.

At Prairie Elementary, students are busy learning about music theory, history, culture and composition as well as developing performance skills such as singing and playing instruments. Many performances are being planned for this spring. This month, the second-grade classes will be presenting the musical “E-I-E-I-Oops” by John Jacobson and John Higgins. The performances are under the direction of music instructors Jeanne Mammen, Linda Van Westen and Debra Moe. Next month, the first-grade classes will be presenting the musical “Prime Time Nursery Rhymes.”

This year, 84 students are members of the fourth-grade orchestra. Mrs. Melanie Loy conducts the orchestra as well as providing small group lessons for all students. The orchestra performed at a holiday concert last December and is looking forward to performing at the All School Orchestra Concert this May.

Students also have the opportunity to participate in after school-music programs at Prairie. On Tuesday afternoons, fourth-grade students from Prairie, along with fifth- and sixth-grade students from Worthington Middle School, can participate in Celebration Chorus . This chorus was founded by Jeanne Mammen to give talented and interested students a chance to sing music that is more difficult and challenging. This group performs at many places in the community as well as performances for parents and fellow students. Every other year, the group participates in a Celebration of Young Musicians festival. More than 100 students from area schools meet together for a day of music making led by master teachers. This year, the chorus will participate in the Gone Country performances at Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, March 25. Celebration Chorus is directed by Jeanne Mammen and is funded and programed with the assistance of District 518 Community Education, the Nobles County Integrative Collaborative and Prairie Elementary.

Another opportunity for Prairie third- and fourth-graders is El Sistema. More than 50 students from Prairie, Ellsworth and Adrian Elementary Schools gather at Prairie for lessons in singing and instrumental music. El Sistema is a program founded on the belief that music nurtures the whole child, academically, culturally and musically. At Prairie Elementary, the lead teacher for El Sistema is Debra Moe. The program is funded through a grant from the Nobles County Integrative Collaborative.

Related Topics: MUSIC
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