Our mission is to create better learners and citizens through instrumental music instruction and ensemble performance.
Paul Banks Elementary is a PK-2 school in Homer, Alaska serving about 200 students a year. The Kenai Peninsula Orchestra is a non-profit group of musicians that believes in spreading the love and benefit of music through our area. Through a collaboration of both of these groups, the concept of The Preludes emerged. Based on a model for positive social change that originated in Venezua called El Sistema , violin instruction is used to develop students’ focus, self-control, teamwork, and the understanding that it takes effort to accomplish great things. In addition, integrated music instruction enhances overall academic progress.
In the first program year, all first grade students will receive three group lessons for 1/2 hour each on a weekly basis. The long term plan is to add another grade level each school year, until all K-2 students are receiving weekly instruction.
- Develop focus, discipline, and self-control
- Learn how to work as a team
- Build confidence and self-esteem
- Strengthen skills for school success; including perseverance, delayed gratification, and long-term memory
- Foster healthy relationships between peers and with adult role models
- Develop fine and gross motor skills
- Foster creative expression
- Give all students access to joyful music-making through ensemble
Regular musical training has also been shown to enhance positive brain activity in children during other educational activities such as math and reading. In fact, in Juneau, where a similarly modeled program has already been successfully implemented, the test scores have gone up so dramatically that it is being expanded to additional schools this year.