By Jessica Gokhberg, Walker West Music Academy
July at Walker West Music Academy means the kick-off of the Summer Music Enrichment Program! For three weeks, students explore a variety of musical instruments and vocal performance, all culminating in a final recital. The instruments include the violin, piano, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, and African drums. We provide the children of our community with a productive and artistic outlet for all their summer energy!
Co-founder of the Academy, Grant West, calls SMEP “the foundation of Walker West” because it is “a hands-on program which allows” our youngest students to touch, play, and see instruments from around the world—many for the first time.
Our students range from the ages of five to twelve and spend three weeks at Walker West learning from our best teaching artists and their student assistants. The Summer Music Enrichment Program is unique in its mission in that it relies solely on learning through listening; not a single piece of sheet music is used the entire time! Music is taught to the students in the most natural way possible; after all, a child learns to speak before he or she can read or write. Music is the same: the feeling attached to the beat of a drum comes before an understanding of theory or notes. The goal this July at Walker West, then, is to offer up this one-of-a-kind feeling in droves to our community’s young artists, and thus ignite a life-long spark of interest in music and the arts in each of our students.
Check out more photos and a video from Academy co-founder Grant West on Walker West’s Facebook page.