New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers, P.S. 11, Brooklyn, NY
Jon Deak, composer/founder
According to a survey by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), music educators find the national standard about creating music to be the most challenging. The New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers program is based on the premise that creating music is an activity that should not be limited to a highly trained, elite group of adults. Founded by composer and bassist Jon Deak, the program assumes that all children — whether or not they can play an instrument — have the capacity to express musical ideas. The program is nurturing young composers in multiple states across the U.S. and several countries around the world, including Venezuela.
At P.S. 11 in Brooklyn, Jon and composer/teaching artist Angélica Negrón help fourth and fifth graders record their musical ideas using graphic notation. Students consult a list Angélica posts in the classroom to more fully develop those ideas, doing things like repeating a phrase, playing it backwards, and adding harmony. Two months later, Angélica has translated the scores into standard notation, and the students refine their ideas through collaboration with an ensemble of professional musicians. The payoff is an exciting concert for peers and family members.
EL SISTEMA PRINCIPLES
The musical activities in this unit address the following Anchor Standards of the National Core Arts Standards: