Newport Symphony Orchestra Family Strings
The Newport Symphony Orchestra at the Ocean completed its second year of the NSO Family Strings program, which provides string instrument instruction to elementary school children. In order to make it available to children from families of low or moderate income, we received the generous support of the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, The Ford Family Foundation, and the Newport Symphony.
The Family Strings program was launched in 2018 with a grant from the US Bank Foundation. This year the program had nine children learning to play violin and cello. They performed in public prior to the youth orchestra concerts in December and April. Our instructors teach violin using the Suzuki method with both individual and group classes, and hold instruction at First Presbyterian Church and Red Lotus Music in Newport. Instructors are Mindy Simon, Philip Grabenhorst, and Adrienne Welsh. Setting up the Family Strings program was a major first effort for the NSO, as we had to put into place instructors, rehearsal space, rehearsal time, instruments, and instruction materials, as well as recruit the students. We believe this number of students was close to full capacity for instruction for this year. For the coming year, however, we hope to double the number, providing we are able to obtain the instructors, rehearsal space, and funding.
The beneficial effect will be on the children learning to play beautiful and fun music on an instrument, with all that involves, including reading music, practicing, arriving to lessons on time, performing for their instructor, and performing in public. These are valuable skills that are portable and applicable to every area of a child’s growth and experience. Their families will also benefit by having their child succeed at a skill the child wants to learn.
To learn more about the Newport Symphony’s work in youth music education, visit NewportSymphony.org.