CIPC’s ArtsConnect program, working in partnership with the Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association, has launched PianoKids, a new music outreach project that is bringing top-tier, professional artists to Cleveland students who have limited access to concert performances.
Ten Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools are participating in the 2015/16 PianoKids program, which is being sponsored by PNC Bank. Approximately 1,200 children in grades pre-K and K will experience live performances, musical storytelling, and hands-on learning with three musicians and their instruments. Each school will receive two visits during the school year: one in the late fall to introduce musical concepts, and one in the spring to build on what they have learned.
Andris Koh (cello); Aniela Eddy (violin); and Natsumi Shibagaki (piano) will work with the children at the ten schools. All three are well-established teachers of young musicians in the city and have been involved with ArtsConnect for several years. “Andris, Aniela, and Natsumi are ideally suited for the PianoKids program,” said Sophié van der Westhuizen, Director of ArtsConnect. “They have a wonderful ability to connect with children and make the music fun and child-friendly.”
Allison Wallace, Executive Director of the Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association, has served as the project’s liaison with the School District, helping to identify the participating schools and organize the visits. “ArtsConnect and the Neighborhood Centers Association have worked together on several projects,” Ms. van der Westhuizen said. “It’s a wonderful partnership that we hope will continue to bring high quality music education to the city’s children for many years to come.”