Curtis Institute Of Music graduates to perform with Rock To The Future students in a free music-education workshop - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

This afternoon at Bookspace, graduates of the Curtis Institute Of Music and students participating in the Rock To The Future after-school music program will take part in an interactive workshop. The workshop runs from 4–5:30 p.m. and will be free and open to the public.

Curtis, a highly competitive classical music program, might seem like an unusual source for instructors to teach young students how to play rock music. Though recent Curtis alumni Ryan Seay and Ben Folk are both classically trained (in trombone and percussion, respectively), they will spend the workshop performing with electronic instruments including drum machines and DJ equipment; they’ll also be teaching the students some of the basics of electronic instrumentation. The workshop, made possible through Curtis’s Greenfield Concert Series (which is funded by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation), will provide the opportunity to create mentoring relationships between the younger musicians and the recent graduates.

Mary Loiselle, Director Of Community Engagement And Career Development Services at Curtis, hopes that the experience will allow the Curtis musicians to “talk about how their lives have evolved as musicians” and share their experiences, and that the younger musicians will be engaged through both performance and participation. Jessica McKay, Founding Director of Rock To The Future, says she’s excited for her students’ opportunity to experience a new style of performance that their staff couldn’t otherwise provide through the normal resources of the program, which functions through grants, donations, and volunteers.

“The whole reason I started the program was because there is so little access to music programs in cities, especially because individual instruction can be so expensive,” McKay says, noting especially the fact that arts programs are first to be cut from public school budgets during hard financial times.

Rock To The Future, now completing its first year of after-school programming, will also perform an 18-song showcase at World Café Live on June 5 to highlight their students’ achievements over the year. —Danielle Wayda

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