THE SUZUKI VIOLIN INITIATIVE IN CLARK COUNTY, NEVADA
Public schools normally do not offer students the opportunity to learn to play string, percussion, and wind instruments until they enter grades 6-12. Parents who have the financial means, however, often place their children in private music instruction as early as age 3 or 4.
This early start playing instruments gives these students a tremendous advantage when auditioning for magnet school programs in middle and high school as they often have 6 or more years of music instruction when compared to children of low income families. This advantage continues as children approach high school graduation and compete for the limited music scholarships.
We at the Foundation to Assist Young Musicians (FAYM) believe that if children from low income families are provided the opportunity to learn music at an early age, they too will be able to be competitive as they apply for magnet programs and scholarships.
FAYM's goal is to develop a community youth orchestra from students living in the area surrounding the East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center. Kindergarten age children will be recruited from the various elementary schools in this community and offered Suzuki Violin instruction at little or no cost. Our instructional model requires for each student to have an adult mentor which can be a parent or relative that will attend each of the lessons and supervise/assist practice at home. Each student will be provided with an instrument and music and will receive a 45 minute weekly group lesson. Instruction follows Suzuki methodology. This approach trains students in classical music thus exposing them to the great composers of the world.
FAYM's program began in the fall of 2010 by recruiting students from Sunrise Acres Elementary School. In May 2011, we will have finished two full years of lessons. The program is gradually expanding to include students from other elementary schools in the surrounding area.
It is our belief that our students must have the opportunity to play for a live audience and have already performed in several `concerts' for friends, family, and their classmates.
This program could not exist without the generosity of the following remarkable individuals and organizations:
Arturo Ochoa, program coordinator
Antonio Diaz, volunteer teacher
Jessica Hartzell, volunteer teacher
Pavel Ocampo, apprentice teacher
Juan Soto, luthier, who provides free repair of all instruments Robert Passaro, videographer
City of Las Vegas Parks and Recreation Division
Clark Country School District Partnership Program
Las Vegas Urban League
Nevada Arts Council
Las Vegas Philharmonic
Nevada School of the Arts
El Sistema USA
Please view the video below - "A FRIEND FOR LIFE - SUZUKI VIOLIN" - to learn about Suzuki Violin Instruction at the Lucy Moses School which is part of the Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center in New York.
FAYM's Inner-city Violin Pilot Program - JUNE 2010.
FAYM's beginning violin youngsters joined with more advanced students from Las Vegas for a week-long Suzuki Violin Camp in June 2010 sponsored by the Nevada School of the Arts. The camp was the ideal way to close the first year for our young FAYMsters. The continuation of this valuable program now depends on raising funding to provide instruction, materials and camp and concert experiences for the 2011-2012 school year.
You can help bring music into the lives of children most in need by joining the Family of FAYM and making a donation today! Click HERE to donate
"A Friend for Life - Suzuki Violin"
LAS VEGAS WEEKLY. April 7, 2010. "String Theory. What can a kid with a violin achieve? Maybe a lot, according to new program"
Click HERE to view the article on FAYM's violin program for kids.