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Orchestrating a symphony of connections in community music education

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Category: culture Video duration: Orchestrating a symphony of connections in community music education
The Virginia Tech String Project is a community enrichment program whose mission is to provide string music education for regional students and prepare future music teachers and educators. Their recent 15th anniversary concert at Moss Arts Center and performance of the National Anthem at a Salem Red Sox game are examples of several special events to celebrate Virginia Tech's dedication to leadership in string music education in the state.
The Virginia Tech String Project is a community program for children to learn the orchestral string instruments. So they study violin, viola, cello, and double bass. And they are taught by the college students who are going to be pre-service music teachers. And then we have a master teacher who's very experienced, She leads classes and mentors the college students in their teaching. So I think string project is really important for two reasons. There's no middle school or high school strings program in Montgomery County. In the public schools. And so we start them from third grade onwards. And then I think that the second thing is that the college students that are teaching or that want to be teachers are getting real-time experience from a much earlier age. Most students that are in college, that want to be music teachers don't get to do the real thing until they are in their early 20s and they're about to graduate and they're doing their student teaching. But I walked in straight out of high school, and I got to get real classroom experience with real kids and actually get to teach them, which is a really unique opportunity and it's one that has made me really happy to be a Hokie. My family loves the fact that I play instruments and I'm going to take my viola with me abroad to share it with my family in Egypt as well. And I'm nervous for it, but I'm really happy that viola brings not only me joy, but my friends and my family as well. We're celebrating our 15th anniversary and so we've been doing a lot of activities that are special this year. And the founder of [Virginia Tech] String Project, he used to make a lot of arrangements for string orchestra. So we decided that we wanted to kind of bring things full circle and ask him to arrange something for us. So we said, 'would you do the National Anthem and make it for multi-level string orchestras?' And so at our concert that's coming up on Thursday, we are going to be performing that and he'll be at the concert. He's also conducting a piece on the concert. And then we're going to go to the Salem Red Sox game later in the month, and the students are going to be playing the National Anthem on the field there. And we hope that this is an arrangement that we can use in the future to engage with the community. And we find that children really like to get out at sporting events and it's meaningful for them to connect with other parts of their lives and their other interests outside of music. So this is a way for them to do that.