After completing two successful instrument drives that collected more than 6,000 instruments for New York City students, WQXR was looking for new ways to deepen the relationships we had fostered with recipient schools.
In 2018, WQXR’s Music In Schools pilot set out to bring world-class interactive classical music performances to new and young audiences who otherwise would not have access.
In partnership with Decoda, an affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall, WQXR presented 12 chamber music concerts to six elementary schools, reaching a total of 350 elementary school students (grades 3-5) throughout the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn.
In the weeks leading up to these in-school performances, music teachers were given resource guides to use in their classrooms to prepare their students for the music and the experience, and WQXR hosts and staff members attended and emceed.
These programs taught the fundamental elements of music via works by a variety of composers. Students helped to arrange music in real time and were encouraged to connect music to things like mood and personality.
Our audiences included students with developmental disabilities. English Language Learners were also a part of our inclusive audience.
For each student, a relationship to the music was the way into this experience. Students gained a deeper understanding of classical music and its relevance in their own lives, families and communities.