Gifted Education 101: Enrichment opportunities for your musical child

Here is an awesome article originally posted by Alina Adams from NY Gifted Education Examiner about the power of music education:  Philharmonic

When Farah Taslima's parents immigrated from Bangladesh, they didn't dream that their 12-year-old girl's music would someday be performed by the New York Philharmonic. Even if they had, they never could have imagined it would happen in North Korea….

The 106 members of the Philharmonic returned Thursday from a historic visit to North Korea, which is locked in frosty negotiations with the United States over its nuclear weapons program. It was the biggest American delegation to visit the communist country since the Korean War.

The pinnacle of the trip was a concert broadcast to the world last Tuesday. And the next morning, four members of the orchestra and four North Korean musicians performed an octet by Felix Mendelssohn, with Taslima's piece squeezed in at the end.

"It was a wild-card thing," said Jon Deak, a Philharmonic double bass player who runs the orchestra's teaching program for child composers….

She had originally written it for the entire Philharmonic two years ago, and it was played at one of the orchestra's Young People's Concerts at Lincoln Center.

But she scaled down the work for a smaller group of musicians – clarinet, violin, cello and double bass, including the Philharmonic's top violinist, concertmaster Glenn Dicterow….

Farah, who attends a gifted children's school at Manhattan's M.S. 54, started composing as a third-grader at P.S. 199, where Deak – also a composer – introduced his Very Young Composers program sponsored by the orchestra.

For the musically gifted youngster more interested in jazz than classical music, the NY Gifted Examiner spoke to David O’Rourke, Artistic Director of the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra (JSYO), about opportunities available for boys and girls with his organization.

According to O'Rourke: Jsyo

At a time when
arts education programs in public schools continue to diminish, it’s
imperative that we ensure all school-aged children have access to a
quality education that includes music. Studies have shown that music
study improves children’s SAT scores, basic math and reading abilities,
self-esteem, empathy for various cultures, interpersonal communication
skills, self-expression, and the list goes on and on.

For the
eighth consecutive season, the Jazz Standard, the nation’s premier jazz
club, and JSYO, a breeding ground for NYC’s talented young musicians,
are providing numerous performance opportunities, priceless musical
education and insight from today’s top jazz professional musicians, as
well as collegiate auditions and scholarships for hundreds of children
between the ages of 11and 18,  all while motivating the next generation
of up-and-coming artists. 

The vast majority of our JSYO
alumni pursue music in college, many testing out on several of their
first year courses due to their performance experience with us. Little
did I realize when we launched this program in 2002, that through music
I would find myself helping to prep kids for their college auditions,
helping place some of them in performing arts high schools, alongside
helping to develop prodigious young talent. We audition kids from La
Guardia High School, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the local community
and schools to identify students to participate in the program each
year. We see a trend developing where our musicians are coming to us at
an increasingly younger age while their level of playing is already
quite developed. Our youngest members are 11 years old!

addition to the kids’ private teachers and school band directors, the
JSYO provides these youngsters with the greatest of all teachers:
regular live performance. We launched JAZZ FOR KIDS, a weekly
performance at Jazz Standard that involves the JSYO playing for the
general public. JAZZ FOR KIDS offers our student musicians the
opportunity to play exciting new arrangements of big band classics such
as St. Louis Blues and Don’t’ Be That Way, Big Band charts such as Miles DavisSo What,
and jazz compositions by the likes of Duke Ellington, Cedar Walton, Wes
, and Charlie Parker. For the audience, which usually
consists of families and their impressionable children, JAZZ FOR KIDS
provides an opportunity to connect with the music in a lively
environment.  To learn more, visit

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