Like every organization, the Laby Harmony Project of the New West Symphony had its programs disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

But that’s not stopping the educational arm of the New West Symphony from providing free music lessons to Ventura students.

Thanks to generous support from New West Symphony donors, 126 students continued their music education in the spring session via video conferences with Laby Harmony Project teaching artists.

The new platform allowed instruction to continue and helped the program’s kids keep some much-needed connection and structure during very challenging social circumstances.

Now, summer is in full swing, and so is Laby Harmony Project’s Virtual Summer Camp, a range of programs tailored to keep students stimulated, connected, and growing in their musical knowledge and creativity.

Program Director Anne Case said the summer programs, which serve students from 1st grade to high school, have an emphasis on creativity and musical exploration.

“Some of the composition and improv projects, seeing what the kids come up with that’s really relevant in their world . . . I think if we can tap into that over summer, that’s going to be really meaningful,” she said.

You can help keep the education programs of the New West Symphony strong with your generous gift of any amount. Learn more about how you can get involved.

Students going into 1st and 2nd grades are in the pre-orchestra program, which will be focusing on music of the world. A 9-day camp, the learners will take virtual field trips, sing songs together, find interesting sounds with household objects, and discuss music from Russia, India, Mexico, and other nations.

Students in the Sheridan Strings program, mostly going into 5th grade, have been playing instruments for a year. With a focus on improvisation and composition, they’ll create their own pieces and study mindfulness in music, while also receiving instruction in their instruments and sheet music notation.

Older students in middle and high school will have lessons in applying music theory as well as leadership-building.

Important for all grade levels, the programs include activities that help the students bond and feel part of a community while they each participate remotely from home.

Case is hopeful that the enhanced social aspect of the program’s curriculum will help the summer camp succeed in the online platform.

“It’s going to be a little bit more integrated in terms of working towards a common goal,” Case said. “And at the same time, [we’re] really giving space to kids to take ownership and leadership of their own experience, while providing the structures and support along the way . . . to turn it into something that’s relevant to them.”

You can help keep the education programs of the New West Symphony strong with your generous gift of any amount. Learn more about how you can get involved.

 

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