2011-06-17 / Community

Music Memory Participants Awarded At Citywide Finals

The Music Memory Program, a dynamic educational initiative for elementary students in the New York City schools, was launched by Riverside Symphony in 1999.

It is a program that fosters a lifelong love of fine music and has been enthusiastically welcomed and enjoyed by the students who participate in the program. When Barbara Eisenstadt, then president of Rockaway Music and Arts Council, heard of the program she immediately brought it to the attention of RMAC’s executive board. For these past many years Rockaway Music and Arts Council has proudly sponsored the Music Memory Program in local schools. The program is a year-long endeavor and centers on presenting to fourth and fifth grade students, 16 musical works representing a wide range of musical periods and styles. Utilizing audio-visual material and diagrams called “maps,” students listen to and interpret orchestral, choral, keyboard, operatic and jazz compositions. In this manner composers and their music become familiar to the young listening ears. This year over 6,000 students from 45 schools throughout the city participated in the program.

In the spring participating schools select five-member teams from the fourth and fifth grades, with one member of each team serving as captain. The teams then compete in the Citywide Finals where they show off their expertise in identifying the titles of a number of fragmented, musical compositions and the name of their composers. Sometimes the fragment may consist of a single chord.

On Thursday, May 26 the 12th annual Music Memory citywide finals were held at Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University. Twenty-one schools took part in the competition including two schools from our area: PS 114, under the direction of teacher Robin Levy, and PS 47, under the direction of teacher Kathy Ruggiero. The fourth and fifth grades of PS 47 and the fourth grade of PS 114 each won Silver Certificates. The fifth grade of PS 114 won a Gold Certificate.

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