OrchKids implements an inclusion-based model during school hours, serving students as young as pre-kindergarten in a variety of ways to create equitable access to music education and expose children to music at a young age. OrchKids partners with existing Baltimore City public school music programs by providing additional instructors who support BCPSS teachers in sectionals, lessons, and ensemble support. OrchKids programming is free for all students. In-school program offerings are listed below.
Students are introduced to the fundamentals of music through group musicianship classes. Using techniques developed by Dalcroze (Eurythmics), Kodaly (Solfege), Gordon, and Orff, students are exposed to age-appropriate games and activities that invite them to discover musical concepts in a fun, participatory manner. A special emphasis is put on encouraging students to discover their unique voice, and in creating and expressing original musical ideas.
Students learn about the different instrument families (strings, woodwinds, and brass) by learning to play the violin, trumpet, and recorder. Through the hands-on exploration of these instruments, students are able to discover their own personal preferences and proficiencies. Exploratory students have opportunities to be in a site-based “bridge program” to be more involved with the OrchKids after-school programming/community.
School Band and String Ensemble Support
Another key component of OrchKids in-school programming is augmenting existing Baltimore City Public Schools’ instrumental classes by providing additional teacher support. OrchKids teachers support the Baltimore City School teacher by pulling select students out of class for small group lessons or sectionals, and playing side-by-side with students during ensemble rehearsal to model musicality as well as successful rehearsal and performance practices. As a member of an ensemble, students become part of a musical community where the sum is greater than the whole of its parts. In an ensemble, a large group of students play through diverse repertoire in multiple genres. Experience playing in an ensemble not only improves one’s musical skills, but also life skills including collaboration, creativity, and communication.