FA Collegiate Musicians Share Talents with Neighbors

Why were eight Collegiate students carrying various size musical instrument cases strolling down Grand Street at lunchtime?

Paying a visit to their neighbors at International Charter School.

Members of Foundation Academies Youth Orchestra, along with director Vincent Bello, shared their talents recently with students in kindergarten through fourth grade at the nearby school. 

Music is a vital part of FA’s curriculum, with music club in primary school and string study introduced in upper grades. All FA students learn to play a string instrument of their choosing, from the violin and viola to upright bass and cello. 

Through music, students are challenged in new ways when it comes to responsibility and focus. 

In addition to building musical skills, they also learn motivation, responsibility, teamwork and perseverance. At the high school level, with support of a certified instructor, orchestras are often led by students. 

Youth Orchestra members are in grades 9-11. The program is a voluntary, extra-curricular activity for students who cannot take daily orchestra classes in a given semester or just want to continue playing beyond the daily class environment, Mr. Bello said. 

This ensemble is smaller than the full orchestra, allowing for more flexibility in musical selections to learn and perform– resulting in a more challenging repertoire than is usually  played in daily classes. 

After a hiatus imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the group reassembled in February. This performance was their first in more than a year. Their dedication, enthusiasm and collaborative spirit inspire Mr. Bello.

“I always enjoy working with students who really love playing enough that they choose to stay after school once a week to look at really interesting and challenging music,” Mr. Bello said. “The group makes a lot of decisions by consensus or vote because everyone is very invested”  

Indeed, on this day, the ensemble selected songs with k-4th grade students in mind: ”Remember Me” from the Disney movie Coco and “Baby Shark.”

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Foundation Academies Support Staff