Orchestra as a Vehicle for Social Change: Providing Opportunities and Teaching Perseverance

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rebecca B. MacLeod, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: There are few things more beautiful than watching a child receive his or her first opportunity to play an instrument. Today at my lab school, the fourth grade orchestra students came to the orchestra cottage for their first lesson. At the start of the lesson, I told them, "Today, you will meet your violin." The looks of anticipation, excitement, and joy were contagious as students opened their cases for the first time. One student exclaimed, "My violin is so beautiful!"Unfortunately for the majority of students in the United States, they will never have theopportunity to meet their first instrument. Orchestra programs are offered in fewer than20% of public schools in the United States (Hamann, Gillespie, & Bergonzi, 2002) and themajority of these programs are located in affluent schools (Elpus & Abril, 2011). Becauseopportunities to learn to play a string instrument in the public schools are limited, access to string instruction is not equitable. Schools located in less affluent areas have fewer resources, directly affecting the type of opportunities offered to the students in attendance (Ladson-Billings, 2006; Costa-Giomi & Chappell, 2007; Kozol, 2005). If music education is truly for all children, thenchanges need to be made that encourage teachers to work with underserved populations in everyarea of music education.

Additional Information

Ala breve, October/November 2014, 54-55
Language: English
Date: 2014
Music education, Orchestra, Instruction, Elementary, String instruments

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