The Integrated Arts Academy (IAA) at the H.O. Wheeler School is an arts magnet school, one of six public elementary schools in Burlington. The school has 300 K-5 students from 23 countries, speaking 30 languages. ONE (Old North End) Strings provides in-schools strings instruction and related activities for students at the school, seeking to eliminate traditional barriers to instrument instruction. The program is inspired by El Sistema, a worldwide educational movement that has been called “the future of music.”
The 2018-19 academic year was the sixth year of ONE Strings. All 4th and 5th graders at IAA have group violin lessons twice a week for 20 weeks with violin teacher Kathleen Kono. All 3rd graders have a 6-week introduction to strings in the Spring. This program is made possible thanks to a series of grants from the Vermont Community Foundation and the Amy B. Tarrant Foundation, as well as the support of private donors and of the school’s PTO.
Soovin Kim, the Festival’s Co-Artistic Director, visits students a number of times during each school year. In celebration of LCCMF’s 10th anniversary and our Young Composers Seminary, 3 composer alums will lead composition workshops with the 5th graders this year: Nick DeBerardino, YCS ’18, in November 2018; Alistair Coleman, YCS ’17, in February 2019; and TJ Cole, YCS ’14, in April 2019.
In spring 2019, ONE Strings expanded to the Sustainbility Academy at the Lawrence Barnes School, the second magnet school in the Burlington School District, also located in Burlington’s Old North End. The 3/4 grade classes had 8 weeks of group violin lessons. This collaboration between the school and LCCMF marks an exciting expansion of this program.