Orchestrating Kids Through Classics
The Orchestrating Kids Through Classics (OKTC) Program
Each year, every Lexington third grader and thousands of children from greater Boston hear a real live orchestra, learn the history of classical music and are often inspired to play an instrument—a lifelong impact! Kids listen, laugh, cheer, and “conduct” from their seats—Engaged, entertained and educated by Lexington Symphony’s Orchestrating Kids Through Classics™ (OKTC).
Since 2009, Lexington Symphony has performed for over 20,000 students across the state, including providing scholarships to underserved communities such as Somerville, Lawrence and Dorchester. Most participants have never seen a live orchestra before. Corporate and individual support makes it possible for Lexington Symphony to perform OKTC, the original award winning education program created to introduce children to the instruments of the orchestra and the history of classical music.
The program includes an up-close classroom visit by a team of Lexington Symphony musicians. This is followed, a few weeks later, by a trip through time with the whole orchestra, from chanting monks to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky… all the way to John Williams’ thrilling Star Wars theme, with a special guest from the dark side!
Lexington Symphony has presented OKTC to packed halls in Lexington, Burlington and Framingham.
The OKTC program has had a huge impact here in Lexington on enrollment in the Lexington Public School instrumental music program and is now a regular part of Lexington’s elementary school arts education!
When this program was initiated in 2009, the number of students starting in the instrumental programs was in rapid decline. Within a few years, the number of students taking up instruments rapidly and consistently rose to where it is today, the largest music program in the school system’s history. There are many studies that support the positive effect of music studies on our young people. A recent article in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Educational Psychology stated, “students who take music classes do better Academically.”
TRACK RECORD OF SUCCESS:
• More children decide to play instruments tracked by schools
• Survey data shows increase in interest in instruments and orchestral music, and high marks from classroom teachers, who request repeat performances each year.
• Venerable institutions including Massachusetts Cultural Council, Harvard Musical Association and Lexington Education Foundation, whose representatives have seen the program, are backing it with their funding.
• Parents love it and, along with music teachers, are a driving force for bringing the program to new communities.
Ms. Laura Carlo