A multi-purpose room filled with young students at Monrovia’s Wild Rose Elementary School became part of a school-wide orchestra Tuesday thanks to the Pasadena Showcase House Music Mobile Program that supplied a variety of brass, stringed, woodwind and percussion instruments with hopes of giving the students an opportunity to explore music and everything it has to offer.
Every year, the distinctive Pasadena Showcase House Music Mobile in partnership with Pasadena Conservatory of Music (PCM), introduces musical instruments to third-graders in the San Gabriel Valley and has visited nearly 125,000 third graders in local classrooms since its inception in 1971.
“I think for them to have the opportunity to just get their hands on the instruments and make it not seem so foreign and far away gives them a chance to really get in it and see if it’s something they want to continue working on,” said Crystal Peralta of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music.
Designed and implemented by Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, the Music Mobile™ has received numerous local and national awards for originality and educational excellence. Proceeds from the Pasadena Showcase House of Design have funded this highly effective music education program since its inception.
In addition to a hands-on lesson, the Music Mobile program now features a multi-media presentation? ?complete with images and high quality sound, and a robust music curriculum folder chock full of lessons designed to help students connect music to other parts of their education.
“For a lot of these students, it’s a challenge to get started on some of these instruments because it’s their very first time, but it’s just about encouraging them that you don’t get something amazing unless you start right where you are,” said Peralta.
Pasadena Showcase House House For the Arts members assist the third graders every sessions as they are introduced to the individual instruments and have the opportunity to touch and attempt to play the brass, woodwind, percussion and string instruments spread across a display of tables.
At each presentation, colorful banners identify the various instruments and instrument groups as the instructor teaches the students about the symphony orchestra.
“I go to each table and I explain that in our own families we have different characteristics and things that we share so I do that with the instruments,” said Peralta.
“We talk about the different styles of music that these types of instruments might be used for,” Peralta added.
To further expand its community outreach, in 2005, PSHA contracted with the Pasadena Conservatory of Music that now administers and presents the Music Mobile Program. PSHA members assist the third graders as they are introduced to the individual instruments and have the opportunity to touch and attempt to play the brass, woodwind, percussion and string instruments.
The Music Mobile program visited 30 elementary schools and gave 82 assemblies to approximately 2,600 children in Pasadena, Rosemead, Duarte, Temple City, Arcadia, San Marino and La Cañada.
“You just never know. If kids aren’t exposed to things, how will they ever know that they might have had this passion?,” said Peralta.
At the conclusion of the program, each student is presented with a gift of a CD recording: “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” by Benjamin Britten and “Peter and the Wolf” by Sergey Prokofiev.
Students leave the Music Mobile experience having gained exposure to classical music, according to the PSHA website.
Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts is a non-profit California Corporation whose members donate their time and talents to produce the annual Pasadena Showcase House of Design. Founded in 1948, and formerly known as The Pasadena Junior Philharmonic Committee, they adopted the Pasadena Showcase House of Design as their annual benefit in 1965. It is one of the oldest, largest and most successful house and garden tours in the nation.
The members of PSHA are united by their belief in the power and beauty of music. Their collective goal is to provide funding to programs that benefit the community through diverse music programs that nurture the study and appreciation of music, provide music as a vehicle towards health and healing, offer music education knowing that the study of music enhances other academic subjects, as well as cultural enrichment, and ensure that music is available to a broad range of audiences.
For more information, visit www.pasadenashowcase.org.