Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mozart Week at Reilly Elementary

Jessica Lane, Education Intern

For someone who loves the arts and wants to be an elementary school teacher, last week was awesome!  Before I tell you how wonderful I think Reilly Elementary School, Classical Kids Live, and the Oistrach Orchestra are, let me tell you what the students at Reilly Elementary School were able to experience.

The program is one week of a larger outreach program called Music Inspires!, a collaboration between Classical Kids Live, the Oistrach Orchestra, and Chicago Opera Theater to bring performances into schools throughout Chicago.

Music Inspires! from Hannah Goering on Vimeo.

Monday was a 1st through 4th grade assembly with the actors of Classical Kids Live, a string quartet from the Oistrach Orchestra, and COT Education Manager Linden Christ.  The student were introduced to the string instruments in front of them and the characters of Mozart and Mozart's son Karl from Classical Kids Live.

Then, each class got to spend a half an hour with Linden or I learning more in depth about Mozart, asking questions, and listening to music.  We spread this out over Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Finally, on Friday, the 1st through 4th graders got together again to watch Mozart's Magnificent Voyage with the entire Oistrach Orchestra and Classical Kids Live.

Students watch Mozart's Magnificent Voyage

The performance was wonderful but, by far my favorite part of the entire week were the 30 minute lessons I was able to teach each individual class.  It was just so much fun. The students were amazed by the life of Mozart, his music, and the musicians.  They had so many questions about who Mozart was.  Each student wanted to know him personally and asked where he lived, how long ago he lived, when he died, and about his family.  Many of the students are not native English speakers and speak Spanish at home.  The classroom teachers were so kind to translate for me from English into Spanish (I really need to learn Spanish!) and the students paid attention even when I knew they could not understand me.  Playing music helped a lot because they could understand the way it sounded and would even act out the instruments with me! 

Mozart week at Reilly was a fun adventure for me, and I hope the teachers, the principals, and the students had as much fun as I did!

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