Early Opera-Music in Schools

About the program:

Based on recent research elementary school age children "who had the arts integrated into their regular curriculum showed remarkable improvement on standardized test scores" U-T San Diego News

Click here to read the rest of the article!

Pacific MusicWorks believes that all children deserve access to the benefits that music brings to one’s life. There are demonstrated skills both academic and social that music education provides which can make our students better thinkers and better people.  The Early Opera program designed by Maxine Eilander and Catherine Webster requires the children to learn to sing in tune, get comfortable on stage and improve their concentration by requiring them to learn and memorize a complete 10 minute long work of accessible, age-appropriate musical theater. Forty-five minute classes are held weekly for a period of 10 weeks per semester leading to a school-wide performance at the end.

We will concentrate on the repertoire of Seattle composer Carol Sams.

Typical Session Description:

-Stage exercises to get the children comfortable moving in space
-Vocal warm ups
-Memorizing the songs and texts for the performance
-Practicing the sequence of stage movements together

 Parent/ Teacher Quotes:

‘’I wanted to let you all know how wonderful I thought the Kindergarten performance of Chicken Little was and how much I value and appreciate this opportunity for our kids.  I don't need to tell all of you how much evidence is out there that music supports other learning - that would be preaching to the choir.  But one of the specific things I want to share about this performance is how touched I was to see a young boy who I know from classroom volunteering.  That little boy struggles with reading and other classroom expectations, but during the performance, he was ON TASK, completely engaged, and singing every word from memory.  What a wonderful experience the musical was for both parents and students. Thank you to all who made it possible.’’ -Parent

 “it was one of the highest quality, developmentally appropriate and engaging performances I've seen in my years as a teacher and parent. " - Debbie Sherwood

"the opera helped the kindergartners get into character and express themselves in a new way…their hard work was greatly appreciated and helped them see the value of hard work."-Beth Tibbets, Special Education teacher

 “it helps students find success and feel valued.  We know that different students learn in different ways and singing and performing are some of the best ways to reach all kinds of learners.  It’s a kinesthetic, musical, auditory, and spacial experience.” –Kit Norman-Kindergarten teacher

“This is the first year that I've observed the work of Maxine and Cassie and their opera in a box. I was very impressed with their professionalism, their understanding of children, how they handled them in a positive way, and of course, by the final product  - the kindergarten opera!” –Parent

Program Cost/ Underwriting Opportunities:

Because each class requires the skills of a trained professional and the use of several types of musical equipment, certain expenses are associated with the presentation of this program. Funding and underwriting options are available. To start a program in your school, please contact Maxine at maxine@pacificmusicworks.org or call 206-708-6003. Many schools do not have the funds available for music education. If you would like to help make this program available to schools who would not otherwise have the chance to participate in music class please contact us to discuss sponsorship opportunities, which are available.