Now you know my whole idea for the Beethoven Project. Next, I will address some practical concerns:
#1 How do we fund The Beethoven Project in a world where cuts are being made right and left? Parents could afford, in many cases, a DSO ticket for their child. Some could afford the CD cost. Perhaps grants could cover these expenses in other communities when needed. Other expenses, like choreography, could be done by a volunteer or group of volunteers. The basic motions could be taught to a small group of children (maybe 10) and could be recorded on video to make teaching them in the schools easier. A gym teacher could view the video and see how to teach the children the routine, or volunteers who have dance, movement or music experience could come in and help teach. Most schools already have CD players in them. Using a school football field for one day might cost something, but I just don’t see the whole things as being expensive. Most school gym closets are full of items that could be used in the routine for props. A bus trip to Detroit would cost something, but could be done.
#2 Where would we begin? I have been considering Troy because its superintendent places a high value on the role of music in education. For example, she broke ground with a program at Morse Elementary in which EVERY 1st grader learns to play the violin. Morse, located in a lower income neighborhood, had struggled to keep up academically, but this program is making enormous strides with the children’s abilities to follow instructions and behave appropriately. The children, through this incredible opportunity, now have a love for making and listening to music. Surely there must be a forward thinking superintendent somewhere out there, like the one in Troy, who would like to take a chance and see what this program might do for their students.
The benefits of The Beethoven project are 1) children will be developing memory, auditory, visual and motor skills 2) they will be learning to follow directions an work as a team 3) they will have increased in physical fitness 4) they will be developing a strong love and appreciation for great music, and 4) the DSO would have an ever-increasing audience base, which rightly deserves, which would end their financial troubles as well.