Middle School Master Classes
Five, ninety minute evening classes are conducted by a professional musician with a small group of students (3-6) per instrument. Classes are provided in a public school in several locations. Seventy-seven students are enrolled this year.
In Collier County, one middle school only has a band program, one has band and orchestra, one has band and chorus and seven have orchestra, band and chorus. Band, Orchestra and Chorus instruction starts in sixth grade. The challenge is to provide under-served students the extra support needed for them to be successful and to gain the skills necessary to continue their music studies through high school.
Music classes may have 30‐45 students in each class. Individual instruction is not possible. Experts providing periodic instruction to middle school students are needed to enhance the large classes. These extra help sessions are especially valuable for economically needy students who work hard and show potential.
This program was developed by Judy Evans. The Naples Music Club assumed the responsibility for funding in 2011. In 2015, The West Bay Community provided funds to expand the program to include the Immokalee Middle School program.
All middle school music teachers are invited to nominate their students to receive master class instruction with a professional musician. The second year music students are nominated due to their work ethics in their school music class and family low-economic status.
Five, ninety minute evening sessions are conducted by professional musicians with small groups of students (2-6) per instrument. Sixty students were enrolled in the Naples 2015 program. Seventeen students were enrolled in the Immokalee 2015 program.
Students significantly improve their technique and their enjoyment of music. They become more effective members of their music organization. Students gain confidence to continue involvement in school music programs. Some become significantly expert to audition for private music lessons through the Naples Music Club Haegg Awards. A mentoring relationship is developed between some of the students and the professional musician.
Approximately $16 per session per student
Piano Keyboard Program
The Piano Keyboard Program is integrated in the after-school program at Avalon, Golden Terrace and Calusa Park Elementary Schools. There were 74 students in the 2014-15 school year. Keyboards, stands, benches and music are purchased for each of the schools. The program was enabled by a generous gift in memory of Laura Fernando.
Fernando Piano Program
The piano program was enabled by a generous gift by the Fernando family in memory of Laura Fernando. Neuroscience research has documented that learning to play the piano has a great impact on enhancing science and math ability.
Students spend the first five minutes in class working on theory and then the students move to the keyboards. The students work at their own pace using headphones. The teacher circulates around the room providing help and agreeing when each student is ready to progress to a new piece.
The goals are:
- to provide students the enjoyment of learning to play the piano while developing knowledge of music theory;
- to achieve the neurological benefits of early training in playing an instrument;
- to identify promising students for private piano lessons whom are economically needy and promising musically.
The Piano Program is integrated in the after-school programs at Avalon, Golden Terrace, Calusa Park and Mike Davis Elementary Schools. There are 74 students enrolled in the 2015 program. Keyboards, stands, benches and music are purchased for each of the sites.
The students in these classes demonstrate greater self‐confidence, a better work ethic, and improved ability to concentrate. One teacher stated, “I noticed a definite change in all of the students in the piano class. Four of the students were some of the shyest in all of my school classes; I could see their confidence increase as well as their musical abilities. All of the students spoke up more in class, understood theory better and increased their musical independence.
The piano is perfect for creating well‐rounded independent musicians and my students have benefited from learning this program in many ways.”
Approximately $225 per student per school year is required once the classroom is equipped. Initial set‐up costs are about $1,800 per school for seven keyboards, stands, benches and music.
The Haegg Award was created in 2009 with a gift of $50,000 in memory of Margaret Haegg by the Haegg family. It provides the winner with private music lessons for a period of one year, renewable for an additional two years. There are usually eight student in the program. We normally add three new students a year.
The Haegg program is also supported by a grant from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs.
Club supported collaboratively:
The program was introduced in the Guadalupe Center in 2008. A grant from the Naples Children & Education Foundation, founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, was awarded that has allowed expansion of the program MusicScores! is now in eight Head Start sites with over 400 four-year-olds enrolled.
Scientists have now proven that early instruction in playing a musical instrument enhances brain function. Neural networks are created that improve verbal, spatial relations, science, and math abilities. Best results occur if the student starts at 4-5 years of age.
MusicScores! is a cost-effective program created by Judy Evans that enhances learning ability by providing literacy training for pre-schoolers while teaching them to play the violin. The goals are as follows:
- Increase listening skills and attention span
- Develop pre-reading skills and sight-word recognition
- Increase ability to recognize patterns
- Identify likeness/differences in sounds & shapes
- Improve memory and abstract thinking
- Improve eye-hand coordination & fine motor skills
- Develop mathematical skills (counting and keeping time)
- Learn beginning violin-playing techniques
- Foster Life-long learning behaviors through a love of music!
There are currently over 400 pre-k children enrolled in MusicScores!
The program was introduced in the Guadalupe Center in 2008. Avalon and Golden Terrace Elementary Schools were added in 2012. Parkside Elementary program was established in 2013.
A grant from the Naples Children & Education Foundation, founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, was awarded that has allowed expansions to Manatee Elementary and Fun Time in 2014 and Golden Gate and Village Oaks elementary schools in 2015.
- Guadalupe students went from the lowest 25% in kindergarten readiness in the state of Florida to the highest 25%.
- Avalon demonstrated kindergarten readiness in 90% of students who had taken the pre‐k violin program and 66% of pre-K students without violin.
The cost of instruction per student is approximately $187 for the school year and $3600 is required to equip a new school with violins and music.
The MusicScores! program is also supported by a grant from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs.
“The outreach programs such as the MusicScores! Pre-K Violin, Pinecrest Mariachi, and the Master classes serve as a terrific real world laboratory for Bower School of Music students as they transition classroom theory into teaching practice.”
Rod Chesnutt, Ph.D.
Head of Instrumental Studies
Bower School of Music
Florida Gulf Coast University
The Naples Music Club also:
- Serves in a strong support capacity for FGCU’s Bower School of Music.
- Organizes Student Recitals so that teachers who are Naples Music Club members can offer public performance opportunities to their students.
- Shares the talents of members who volunteer to mentor, coach, teach, or accompany.
- Arranges for member musicians to educate and entertain for a variety of audiences.
- Provides educational seminars and master classes.
- Serves as a resource for those seeking to learn about the musical opportunities available in the community.