Written by: Good Things Going Around Intern, Andrea Francisco, a student at Indian Hill High School in Cincinnati
Price Hill’s MyCincinnati Orchestra program helps students in grades K-12 express themselves while boosting their confidence in a supportive group. Founded in 2011 by Laura Jekel, it serves as a totally engaging (and completely free!) program for kids. However, students must commit to coming every day of the program, which runs from Monday through Friday from 4-6 P.M. This is because the more time put into practicing an instrument, the better they will get at playing and the more their confidence will grow. Furthermore, this instills a strong sense of dedication and effort into the developing minds of children, something that will help them throughout the rest of their lives. Through a transformative and immersive program of learning and teamwork, students enrolled in the MyCincinnati Orchestra program will learn a set of life-changing skills — something that is truly priceless.
Laura Jekel, who is also the director and teaches some days, has an amazing background in music, along with the rest of the teachers involved in MyCincinnati Orchestra. Laura has a bachelor degree of music from Indiana University at Bloomington and completed her master of music degree at Carnegie Mellon University and the Peabody Institute. Along with this, she lived in Ecuador, where she was a member of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Guayaquil and cello professor at the music school Fronteras Musicales Abiertas in Cuenca. There is a much longer list of all the things she has accomplished — so much that it is hard to fit in this paragraph! In addition, Eddy Kwon, the assistant program director, is a Cincinnatus Presidential Full Scholar with a BM in Jazz Studies from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Also, He has been involved in many El-Sistema inspired programs in the US. To clarify, El-Sistema, Venezuela’s revolutionary youth orchestra program for social change, is the inspiration for MyCincinnati Orchestra. These are just two examples of the staff at MyCincinnati Orchestra, all of whom share an extensive background in music and dedicate their lives to bringing about social change through music.
Laura says that she has witnessed the benefit young minds garner through playing instrumental music. “I have noticed an increase in the children’s ability to focus. They are also gaining self-confidence. I believe music is empowering them to believe in themselves, and giving them a sense of identity. Learning an instrument also builds many life skills such as discipline, responsibility, and working towards long-term goals.” Learning how to play instruments requires a lot of discipline, dedication, and passion which translates to every aspect of a child’s life. This instrument learning program is especially vital to children who are not engaged in school and want to find something they love to do. Also, learning an instrument provides an outlet for children to express themselves, develop lifelong skills, and learn how to love learning. In fact, many studies show that music can help children better understand patterns when learning math. Not only this, but learning how to play an instrument can help kids with their physical coordination and emotional self-esteem. On top of this, group instrumental classes will help children find a welcoming group of friends to belong to, like a home away from home.
To learn more, please contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-251-3800 x 106