From May 11-15, more than 9,000 K-2 students from 55 area schools will attend Musical Explorers concerts at the Armstrong State University Fine Arts Auditorium, concluding the Savannah Music Festival’s (SMF) first academic year in a three-year initiative. At these performances, students see the performers from the curriculum they have studied in recent months, including Huxsie Scott singing African American spirituals, Rebecca Flaherty performing operatic repertoire, and the Eric Culberson Band playing the blues. Performances take place at 10:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. each day, and members of the media are invited to attend.
Originally designed by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) as a music education program that provides historical, cultural and geographical knowledge about the various communities of New York’s five boroughs, SMF’s Musical Explorers was adapted in partnership with WMI to apply similar lessons and learning practices to the Georgia coast and South Carolina Lowcountry. The 2014/15 curriculum designed by SMF incorporates local artists to present six local musical traditions and practices, including bluegrass, the ring shout, jazz, African-American spirituals, opera, and blues.
In advance of each semester, teacher trainings for local teachers were provided to give an overview of the curriculum, introducing vocal warm-up exercises, musical vocabulary and a variety of other basic musical concepts, providing non-music teachers with tools to connect music to social studies, language arts, history, geography and other core subjects. A 100- page teacher guide with accompanying student guides (including Georgia and South Carolina Standards/ Common Core Capacities), videos and audio samples was distributed to each participating classroom, along with a complete web-based version for homeschoolers, parents and teachers using computers and interactive whiteboards. For more information, or to preview online content, visit www.savannahmusicfestival.org/ musicalexplorers.
Savannah Music Festival: A non-profit performing arts organization, the Savannah Music Festival (SMF) is dedicated to presenting world-class celebrations of the musical arts by creating timeless and adventurous productions that stimulate arts education, foster economic growth, and unite artists and audiences in Savannah. In addition to year-round music education and broadcast initiatives, SMF produces one of the most distinctive cross-genre music festivals in the world. The 2015 festival runs from March 19 through April 4, including more than 100 performances in intimate venues throughout Savannah’s historic district. For more information visit www.savannahmusicfestival.org.