Program aims to regain student interest in music education

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A new after school program is aiming to regain student interest in music education by reshaping what that curriculum looks like. (WPVI)

Bob Dylan said it best: "The times, they are a changing."

The iconic lyrics ring especially true in how our children learn in the classroom. Now a new after school program is aiming to regain student interest in music education by reshaping what that curriculum looks like.

Director of music education for Philadelphia schools, Frank Machos, says, "This is not only music education these are conversations we are having around education as a whole."

Like how to better equip our children with 21st century skills, and music is no exception.

Action News had exclusive access to the first meeting of the minds between Notes for Life founder Ronnie Notch, the Philadelphia School District and others that will take place in this ground breaking after school music program - one that isn't limited to playing an instrument, learning to read sheet music or even to aspiring musicians.

Notch explains, "I wanted to create the program so that way students would be able to know how to be creative but also how to be a business owner as well too with entrepreneurship lessons in publishing and intellectual property."

Notch partnered with Microsoft and launched the first program in St. Louis, Missouri almost two years ago.

The classes run for several months and include hands on demonstrations with technology, and lessons on relationships between music and other areas of the arts,

There will also be instructor sessions that feature industry professionals.

Frank Machos says this will have a huge cultural influence on students.

He says, "We have students who will enter a musical classroom and have no interest in taking out their earphones to have a conversation about music because the topic of conversation isn't rooted in their culture and it's not relevant to them. A program like this gives us the opportunity not only to engage more kids but align it with school district's efforts around a 100 percent graduation."

Grammy winning musician Paul Anthony of R&B group Full Force is just one celebrity who will be engaging in one on one sessions with students

Anthony tells us, "To bring this opportunity to the kids, there is nothing to compare to that. And I love what Notes for Life is trying to do, so I wanted to align immediately."

The program will start in October at the School of the Future and South Philadelphia High School, with hopes it will expand to 6 to 10 additional schools.

At this point, the program will be no cost to the district, but through fundraising efforts and donations, the Philadelphia School District hopes to grow and expand Notes for Life over the coming years.

More information:
Related Topics:
educationeducationphiladelphia school districtphilly newsmusicSouth Philadelphia
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