Why are we starting the Monday Orchestra Academy?
This picture about sums it up. When I moved to this district 7 years ago, I found out that there were no orchestra programs in School District 27J. I remember turning to my husband and saying, “One day, I am going to change that.”
Then last year, our district announced that we were going to a 4-day school week, and having Mondays off. While everyone was panicking about what this meant for our district, I saw an opportunity. This was our chance to begin growing an orchestra program in the district!
I have watched over the last 7 years as many dedicated music teachers have tried to bring back orchestra. The answers always sound the same–“Why have orchestra in the middle school if they don’t have a program at the high school?” “Why have orchestra in the high school if there isn’t a feeder program in the middle school?” It became clear to me that someone just needed to start somewhere. And this is what we are doing with the Monday Orchestra Academy.
If nothing else, we are giving our kids the opportunity to learn string instruments. But my goal and my dream is that we can grow, year by year, until there are enough string players in the district to necessitate orchestra programs in the regular curriculum.
I hope to some day make a post celebrating that we have rejoined the other districts in the Denver Metro area, and we have an orchestra program!