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Los Angeles Philharmonic Educational Initiatives
Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) at Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA)
Los Angeles, CA
Emily Kubitskey and Nikki Shorts, teaching artists
Many music educators are familiar with culturally sensitive practices and techniques used to nurture diverse learners from diverse cultures — practices that support authentic multicultural learning in the classroom.
Using these ideas as a foundation, in Los Angeles an entire K-2 multicultural curriculum has been built around a single piece of orchestral repertoire — Sibelius’s Finlandia, a symphonic tone poem. Through the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s educational initiatives, teaching artists Emily Kubitskey and Nikki Shorts use the curriculum to celebrate different cultures around the globe, as well as in Los Angeles.
The culmination is a powerful Neighborhood Project Day Concert, which brings together more than two thousand elementary-school singers and student musicians from Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), who all have been studying Finlandia. This event takes community building to a new level of inclusivity. Students learn that through music, they can create a memorable experience they all share.
EL SISTEMA PRINCIPLES
The musical activities in this unit address the following Anchor Standards of the National Core Arts Standards: