Why Creative Teaching is Essential For the Information Age

There’s a belief in this country that every student should graduate from high school with the same standard set of knowledge. This standard curriculum is lengthy, and states spend many years—and plenty of money—creating fancy bullet-pointed lists of the subjects students are expected to know....

UCSD, Country Day partner for innovative summer tech program

Middle school students will build remote-controlled cars, make illuminated clothing and learn the basics of video game programming during a summer science and engineering program offered at La Jolla Country Day School, in connection with UC San Diego Extension. The new three-week program, titled Summer STE[+a]M,...

The Artist as Advocate

Picasso once complained: "Everyone wants to understand painting. Why don't they try to understand the song of the birds?" He once is alleged to say he would've been a writer but he's not; he's a painter, so don't ask him to explain anything about his...

UC San Diego STE[+a]M Camp This Summer

UCSD K-12 and La Jolla Country are happy to offer four such courses this summer at La Jolla Country Day School. Students must enroll in two of the courses – one for the morning session (9:00 am – 12:00 noon) and one for the afternoon...

New charter school proposed for Hammond – STEAM based

STEAM combines science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM education with art. Mosaica Education of Georgia would manage the school and also provide its Paragon curriculum, an integrated social studies program, according to its application. STEAM Academy of Hammond Inc. was one of eight proposed charter...

STEAM Education

In Rhode Island, a coalition exists to promote the intersection of art and design with math and science education. Robin Bronk, CEO of the Creative Coalition, is trying to ensure that arts education play a role in a well-rounded curriculum. In fact, there...

The STEAM Camps Are Coming

It's early in the new year but educators across the country are already making plans for the summer and they are thinking STEAM...

TEDxDelft – Theo Jansen – A new breed of beach animals

Theo Jansen is a Dutch artist and kinetic sculptor. He builds large works which resemble skeletons of animals that are able to walk using the wind on the beaches of the Netherlands. His animated works are a fusion of art and engineering; in a car...

Striking a Major Chord With Minors

A local program restores music education from flat to natural, By Christine Pasalo
Article printed in San Diego Magazine
Opus scholarship gala with students from Otay and Lauderbach Elementary, Oak Park Percussion Ensemble, the Balboa Park Core Chamber Ensemble

A PETTING ZOO FOR… musical instruments? Yep, you read that right. When music students in the Community Opus Project participate in a local event, they man a “petting zoo.” Violins, cellos, and other instruments replace farm animals, and students invite other children and adults to learn how to play.

It’s all part of the program at Opus.

Launched in 2010, the San Diego Youth Symphony (SDYS) sought to make music education available and accessible to all students in San Diego County. This school year, Opus will benefit 250 students from Otay, Lauderbach, Rice, Harborside, Rosebank, and Vista Square Elementary Schools.

“A lot of students don’t have a pathway to music,” says Dalouge Smith, president and CEO of SDYS. “They don’t have music in their schools. They can’t afford private lessons. There’s no route for them to get to the stage.”

SDYS is carving the path. It raises funds at the local, state, and national levels and brings the Community Opus Project to musically underserved communities. Students enrolled in the program get new instruments and instruction for free.

Inspired by El Sistema, Venezuela’s music program, Opus instruction includes learning to play one’s selected string, wind, or brass instrument, music theory, singing, art, and playing as an ensemble. Students are also encouraged to teach each other… and their parents.