The Canton Symphony Orchestra Helps Improve Student's Conversation Skills with the SymphonyLand String Trio Program

Through a grant from Arts in Stark's SmArts Grants program, 28 students from Plain Local Schools attended the Canton Symphony Orchestra's SymphonyLand String Trio program on January 9. The collaboration was the dreamchild of Lynn Blakeney, Speech Language Pathologist with the Stark County Educational Services Center.

SymphonyLand was designed to give children exposure to music and instruments through a learning interaction with some of the orchestra musicians. The curriculum combines discussions about the musicians and their instruments with a book series with which the children may be familiar. The String Trio program utilized the book "Bear Feels Sick" by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman.

"Students often struggle with communication," Blakeney says, "these presentations provide interest in the arts and literacy and offer a platform for students to engage in conversation."

The Grant also provides student interaction with the Stockdale Family Band including a small concert for students and family members. The concert will take place in February at Oakwood Middle School.

"Presenting students with musical vocabulary and the experience of music and instruments presented the opportunity for conversation about new information, with musicians," Blakeney stated. "We chose the Canton Symphony and Stockdale Band as 2 different styles of music with similar instruments."

According to the SmArts Grants guidelines: "These grants are available to non-profit agencies and individual artists, residing in Stark County, for arts-related projects that demonstrate a commitment to artistic excellence, community impact and outreach."

Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate and entertain. Under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmermann, the orchestra performs classical, pops, holiday, and educational programs. Most performances are in Umstattd Performing Arts Hall, 2323 17th Street NW, Canton, Ohio (at McKinley High School across from C.T. Branin Natatorium). Parking at McKinley High School is free. For more information, please visitwww.CantonSymphony.org.




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