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Musicians bring imagination and lessons for success to elementary

Five world class vocalists and instrumentalists treated Central Valley School second through fourth graders to music and discovery. The special program “Music for the Imagination” invited students to use music to explore the world and their creativity.

The group performed Tuesday, Jan. 20 at Barringer Road and Wednesday, Jan. 21 at Fisher.

The program began with a morning assembly for the entire grade. The pianist, flutist, violinist and two singers (learn about each of the artists) presented a wide range of classical, folk and modern pieces, each with a specific lesson.

What sort of things did the artists share?

  • Flutist Elivi Varga asked the children to imagine the gracefulness of a swan as she played Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Swans.
  • Mezzo-Soprano Maja Lisa FritzHuspen explained imagination can help people get through difficult tasks then she sang A Spoonful of Sugar from Disney’s Mary Poppins.
  • Pianist Francine Kay asked everyone to open themselves up to the emotions and pictures they experienced as she played an Étude by Chopin.
  • Baritone Steven Herring asked everyone to close their eyes and imagine something that makes them happy then he drifted a rainbow colored flag over students while singing “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppets Movie.
  • Violinist Vena Johnson demonstrated the power of music to share emotion and to tell a story as she played “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen.

Another part of the lesson focused on the fact that enjoying and imagining is not enough to be successful. Becoming good at anything, whether music or schoolwork takes a lot of hard work. The artists told the students everything starts with basics. Even though it is work and sometimes boring, Mr. Herring said he wants to get better so he practices the basics everyday. He explained that you have to love the process of learning. If you love what you do, even the day-to-day things, practice, and believe in yourself, you can do whatever you put your mind to.

In the afternoon groups of fourth graders met with individual artists for mini-workshops, focusing on strings, woodwinds or voice.

The artists appeared as part of the Adirondack Arts in Education Project, a privately funded arts in education initiative, designed to expose children living in or near to the Adirondack Park to the power of music. Through the generous donation of an anonymous couple, the group is performing at 63 schools, sharing the power of music, imagination and hard work.

Photo of man and flutist Photo of flutist performing

Photo of children singing along with a violin photo of woman playing violin

photo of singer speaking to studentsPhoto of man with rainbow colored flag

photo of woman playing piano photo of woman singing to students photo of children with eyes closed