Music Education Goes Virtual

The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra has a longstanding
commitment to music education. ICO musicians serve in residencies
at IPS schools working hand in hand with aspiring students. The ICO
presents educational concerts through Any Given Child. However,
the constraints of the pandemic forced all of these programs to stop
for the foreseeable future.

“Music has a way of binding people together; it’s a connection.”
– Alfred Abel, ICO Musician

The pandemic directly affected school music programs and many
students were left without this significant aspect of their curriculum.
The ICO had been developing a new education program supported
by a grant from CICF called “What Makes Music American” and
decided to leverage the success with virtual concerts into virtual
education. The 2021 Gala raised nearly $50,000 to support the
additional expense of virtual production and expand the entire
project to include two additional education programs.

Creative and quick artistic planning allowed the three programs to be
recorded and assembled for distribution. Each program is designed
for specific grade levels and accompanied by curriculum guides that
are usable for multiple disciplines: English, History, Social Studies.
Music is more than notes on a page, it is a testament to the human
condition at a certain time and place. The early education program,
“Tall Tales & Long Tails,” features Peter and the Wolf and Flight of the
Bumblebee and teaches the connection between the language arts
and music. By comparing authors and composers as storytellers, the
program discusses the differences between an author’s words and a
composer’s use of notes, tempos, and other musical elements.


What Makes Music American
designed for students grades
4-8 dives into the rich and
somewhat uncelebrated roots

of American compositions.
Students will experience

pieces by living composers and composers of color, incredible
guest artists, and dance. Hosts Maestro Kraemer and Joshua Thompson (pictured)

provide introductions and commentary for a deeper connection with the
content. Dominance & Defiance explores the lives and messages of
important historical figures, composers and world leaders. Focusing
on oppression, prejudice, racism and social injustice, the program
shares an inspiring message of hope in the ongoing quest for peace
and justice.

Although extreme circumstances motivated these inspiring creations,
there is an unparalleled opportunity to engage and educate students
of all grade-levels throughout Indianapolis and the region.

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