FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Florida International University’s School of Music andMiami Music Project Bring Music to After-School Programs
-FIU Researchers Study How Music Can Help Public School Children-
MIAMI – June 21, 2013 –
Florida International University’s (FIU) College of Architecture + the Arts’School of Music and Miami Music Project are proud to establish a research collaboration to study howmusic education enhances the lives of many underserved public school children.Both undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in FIU’s School of Music, generously give back tothe community by providing after-school music instruction and guidance to students in K-12 programs
throughout the cities of Doral and Little Haiti in Miami-Dade County.“Our goal is to have a better understanding of how to incorporate music into traditional pedagogicalmethods,” says Catherine Benedict, FIU Professor of Music. “Music incorporation can facilitate morediverse teaching practices that address different learning styles, intelligences and enable the higher-level thinking that is fostered by artistic engagement.”The program aims to achieve social change through musical excellence using an ensemble model of instruction called “El Sistema,” as a framework for free music education. This program has beenhighly successful in Venezuela and other countries. Miami Music Project developed “El SistemaMiami” (ESMIA), which is now the second largest El Sistema-inspired program in the United States.ESMIA involves 300 Miami-Dade County Public School students, ages 5-18, in communities withdistinct populations, predominantly Hispanic and Haitian. The students participate in music lessonswith Miami Music Project and FIU’s School of Music students for one to three hours weekly.“Each week we observe how the students come to see themselves and their musical abilitiesdifferently as they grapple with progressively more sophisticated musical challenges,” says StanleyCohen, chairman of Miami Music Project. “Even at a very young age we see them become moreconfident as they turn to their peers and address the issues at hand, or as they stand to sing or playan instrument alone.”FIU and Miami Music Project hope to use this research toward further implementation of musicprograms internationally as well as for public policy regarding much needed support of musiceducation programs within the public school system.
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