PianoKids at Fairmount Preschool.
PianoKids at Fairmount Preschool. Photo by Jon Theobald.

PianoKids is a new music outreach project presented by CIPC ArtsConnect,which is working in partnership with the Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association.  The project is designed to bring very special 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.  They were chosen for the PianoKids program specifically for their backgrounds in teaching young children and their unique abilities to make music fun and child-friendly.

Allison Wallace, Executive Director of the Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association, serves as the project’s liaison with the School District, helping to identify the participating schools and organize the visits.