Some might think February was a rather boring month for CYO. After all, we didn’t have a benefit concert like we did in January. We didn’t start a new class of 25 students like we did in January. And, we didn’t get a donation of $10,000 like we did in January.
But, as one visitor from the City of Glendale who came to observe our classes one afternoon said,
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and in three different classrooms/settings – brilliance anywhere I looked, wow… I was trying to matter-of-fact it while I was there yesterday. But my JAW was dropping at what I saw – i.e. the beauty, God’s HAND in that program – the people in it -the children who I KNEW were tired at the end of their school day…yet FIGHTING through that fatigue …on behalf of you and your great tutors… I wrote my immediate supervision team within the city early this morning — and said YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS PROGRAM.”
Reactions like this from those who visit our program make it all worthwhile. Every day we are seeing progress in the lives of the students. They are learning more about music each day through the music education we offer that includes identifying different types of notes, naming the notes, learning to clap rhythms, learning to sing the notes they will be playing and playing the notes on their instruments.
We also see change happening in their social skills. One little boy with a short attention span, was constantly talking several weeks ago, but this past week was a break-through for him and he was able to play the entire piece on his recorder perfectly. Another girl, who is a challenge in her regular class and was disruptive in the beginning is now learning to quietly listen and focus on the day’s assignment. So, while this may seem like a boring month to some, we are watching lives change every day through music. A father was called on Thursday because his daughter had missed several days last week. He said that his daughter would be dropping the class because she needed to focus on her schoolwork that she was finding difficult to complete each day. He was reminded that studies show that a student who is involved with a music program like CYO for a year, sees a 30% improvement in all of their classwork. She will be back in class on Monday.
Three of the CYO students were selected to participate in the GUSD Honors Orchestra. We are very proud of Angel Daniel Ochoa, Angela Velasco and Jayne Salazar.
We Need Instruments.
In another two months, our recorder students will begin transitioning to orchestra instruments. We need clarinets, flutes and trumpets. We will also gladly accept any other orchestra instruments. These will become part of our inventory to be used by students. Our students aren’t quite ready for oboes, bassoons, French horns or trombones, but they soon will be. If you have an instrument sitting on a shelf, no longer being used, that you would like to have a student use, please contact us. We have all instruments completely refurbished. If you would like to make a donation to help us refurbish them, we’d love your support. If you are part of a service club, please suggest that they announce this or invite us to come and make a presentation. We are also happy to have donations of string instruments that are still in working condition. We will have them brought back to full operation with new strings or pegs, if needed.
Things to watch for in next month’s newsletter:
- Announcement of a new marketing intern.
- Dates for our Spring Benefit with the Glendale Community College Department of Music.
- We are anxiously waiting news of grants that have been submitted.
- Artists who will be coming to introduce their instruments to our students prior to them choosing their instrument
- Summer Music Camp applications. Students who are part of our program at Cerritos are eligible to attend the Music Camp at no charge. Other students may participate by paying a modest tuition.
- Free concerts for CYO students: Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra.
- Link to the new CYO YouTube channel.