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Composers and their music come alive in magical assembly. (Local Association News).

Imagine 550 captivated elementary students staring in awe as they watch Bach, Mozart, Chopin and Gershwin suddenly appear and share their wonderful music. This is the setting of Edmonds Music Teachers Association's (EMTA) elementary school assembly performance of "Magic of Music." Through a magical book belonging to her grandfather, a young girl meets these composers and their music as they are brought forward in time, in full costume, into her grandpa's music room.

Students of EMTA members, posing as the famous composers' students, each performs a piece by one of the composers. The selected pieces are brief and grab the attention of the young audiences. The music teacher from each school has a small role at the beginning, and dressed as Darth Vader, spars with the young girl at the end, as the students learn about composer John Williams. The program concludes with a question-and-answer forum to afford the audience an opportunity to interact with the composers and the performers.

A printed program is sent home with each child featuring pictures and synopses of the composers they saw, information about EMTA, a listening list with local public library call numbers, a word-find activity, a listing of the performers and pieces played, actors' names, an acknowledgement of the sponsors and a listing of people involved behind the scenes.

The idea for our program came about in response to the question, "How can our chapter better connect with our local schools?" We chose to begin with the elementary level, where we hope to spark an interest in music.

We developed the program with help and support from talented family members and from the community. Gable-Martinson Piano donates the use of a beautiful grand piano for each performance. Kennelly Keys Music made a donation to help cover our initial costs--primarily the material for costumes --although the making of the costumes was donated. Edmonds School District Music Supervisor Tam Osborne lent his support and ideas in the development process, and the district's print shop provides the printing of all the programs. All of the actors are volunteers, and they include EMTA teacher Jolinda Shaffer, retired music educators, students of EMTA teachers and community members.

The performance schedule for the 2001-2002 school year features an average of one show a month at local public and private elementary schools. We're excited that during this school year about 4,000 kids in our community will get to meet Bach, Mozart, Chopin and Gershwin in person and hear their music performed live--thanks to the "Magic of Music."
Debra L. DeMiero
Edmonds Music Teachers Association
Washington


Edmonds Music Teachers Association's original production of "the Magic of Music" was created and is produced by Debra DeMiero and Jolinda Schaffer. Numerous association members and educators contributed to the development of the production.
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Article Details
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Author:DeMiero, Debra L.
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2001
Words:461
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