ASPIRA of Florida Charter Schools and the Frost School to Deliver Free After-School Music Classes

October 01, 2012 — Coral Gables — ASPIRA of Florida Charter Schools, in collaboration with the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, announces free after school music classes will be offered to 6th-8th grade students enrolled at ASPIRA Raul Arnaldo Martinez and Eugenio Maria De Hostos Charter Schools. Graduate student mentors from the Frost MusicReach mentoring program will teach the free music classes once a week on Wednesday afternoons, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., October 3 through November 28, 2012. Frost graduate students Geoffrey Saunders and William Longo were selected as faculty for the RAM and EMDH Charter Schools.

“We are so thankful to the UM Frost School of Music for their dedication to our community and giving youth an opportunity to be exposed to and learn from such a prestigious program,” said George Cabrera, President and CEO of ASPIRA of Florida, Inc.

“I look forward to the invaluable lessons our Aspirantes will learn from these classes, and would like to thank Dr. Eisenreich, Outreach and Program Coordinator at Frost, for her help in making this possible, the UM music mentors for dedicating their time and knowledge to our students, and to Edward Hernandez, ASPIRA Board Chair, from the law firm Falk, Waas, Hernandez, Cortina, Solomon and Bonner, for fostering the relationship,” added Cabrera.

Enrollment forms are available in both English and Spanish through the respective school offices. There is no charge to students. ASPIRA’s RAM Charter School is located at 13300 Memorial Highway, North Miami, Florida, 33161 and EMDH Charter is located at 1 N.E. 19th Street in Miami, Florida, 33132. For more information about ASPIRA of Florida, Inc., contact George Cabrera, President and CEO, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 305-269-6767. Dr. Cassandra Eisenreich, Outreach and Program Coordinator for the Frost School of Music, coordinates the Frost MusicReach Mentoring Program and may be reached at (305) 284-6755 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

About the ASPIRA After School Music Program

The ASPIRA after school music program is designed to foster creativity through cross-genre music making. During the fall semester, 6th through 8th grade students will explore the structure and essence of a variety of styles of music, from classical to hip-hop. Students will develop musicianship skills while singing and performing on a variety of percussion instruments.

In ASPIRA’s RAM Charter after school music program, students will learn to perform and improvise alone and in an ensemble, singing, chanting, and on percussion instruments. They will read, write, and identify basic rhythmic and melodic passages. Students will also identify elements of music and compare them among different genres. They will explore and define relationships between different genres, composers, and historical events.

In ASPIRA’s EMDH Charter after school music program, students will receive instruction to recognize note names and note values as well as perform basic rhythmic and melodic patterns. They will learn to identify simple melodies and basic rhythmic grooves in multiple genres including blues, jazz, American folk, and classical. They will learn to compose and improvise melodies over blues and other song forms. And finally, they will compare historical events and people to genres and composers presented in class.

About the Frost MusicReach Faculty at ASPIRA RAM and EMDH Charter

William Longo, Frost MusicReach faculty at ASPIRA RAM Charter School, is currently a graduate student and teaching assistant at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, where he is studying Studio Jazz Writing under the direction of Gary Lindsay. As an experienced music educator with students of all ages, Bill has continued his work as an instructor and curriculum developer with Frost MusicReach, UM’s community outreach and mentoring program. Prior to attending the University of Miami, Bill worked as instrumental music director at Joel Barlow High School in Redding, CT. While there, he directed concert band, orchestra, and jazz ensemble, developed curriculum for a semester class in music appreciation, and coordinated concerts and tours for the department. Bill has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the University of Connecticut in 2002 and a Master of Arts degree in Jazz Trumpet Performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in 2007, where he apprenticed with trumpeter/composer Michael Philip Mossman.

Geoffrey Saunders, Frost MusicReach faculty at ASPIRA’s EMDH Charter School, is a current Graduate student at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami where he is pursuing a degree in Jazz Pedagogy. He received his undergraduate degree in Jazz Bass Performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York where he held his own private studio and taught at the Eastman Community Music School. Geoff has a strong interest in beginning improvisation and utilizes many styles to teach fundamentals of music. He has recorded for GIA publications Jump Right In series as well as Mark O'Connor's String Method. He is currently certified in the Mark O'Connor Method and was a teaching assistant in 2012 at O'Connor's Summer String Camp in Boston. Alongside his busy performance career Geoffrey is constantly seeking teaching opportunities in the community and is very excited to share his music with younger students.

About Frost MusicReach

Frost MusicReach is a mentoring program developed that provides highly effective mentoring for at-risk junior high and high school students. Recognizing that a sustained relationship with a caring adult greatly increases a child’s chances of attending college, musically inclined at-risk middle school students are paired and ‘adopted’ by the best and brightest Frost music students for four years.

Frost MusicReach Mentors provide weekly semi-private and group music lessons to their younger cohorts, as well as assist with school work and provide life guidance. They also provide side-by-side and sectional coaching at Greater Miami Youth Symphony rehearsals, and provide after-school music instruction at several charter schools through Aspira of Florida, Inc. MusicReach mentors also participate in larger group and community events, concerts, and team-building activities.

Frost MusicReach is quickly becoming a national role model, using music as a bridge to help at-risk students stay in school and on a positive course for the future. It is funded primarily through private donations with additional assistance from The Children’s Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. For more info to contact Stephen Guerra, Director of Outreach for the Frost school at 305-284-6638 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

About ASPIRA of Florida, Inc.

ASPIRA of Florida, Inc. is on the front lines of the school reform movement to provide greater educational opportunity for Latino and other minority students. In 1981, a diverse group of community leaders created ASPIRA of Florida, Inc. to address the exceedingly high dropout rate and low educational achievement of Latino and other culturally diverse youth. ASPIRA’s mission is to empower youth and to promote their full development. This mission is achieved by providing students with access to education and leadership development training while emphasizing self-esteem building and cultural pride. ASPIRA of Florida, Inc.’s goal is to develop better educated, more community conscious and committed youth. Parents are encouraged to participate in the educational process. Students develop leadership skills and learn the ASPIRA Process of 1) awareness 2) analysis and 3) action. For more information about ASPIRA of Florida, Inc., contact George Cabrera, President and CEO, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 305-269-6767.

About the Frost School of Music

The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music is one of two schools created in 1926 when the University of Miami was founded. With over 700 students and 100 faculty, it is one of the largest and best music schools located in a private university in the U.S., and one of the most comprehensive in all of higher education. The naming gift from Dr. Phillip and Patricia Frost in 2003 was one of the historic highlights in the life of the School.

The mission of the Frost School of Music is to foster musical leadership by providing an innovative, relevant, and inspiring education; advance performance, creativity and scholarship; and enrich the world community with meaningful outreach and brilliant cultural offerings.

The Frost School has pioneered new curricula and was the first in the nation to offer professionally accredited bachelors and masters degrees in Music Business and Music Engineering Technology, was among the first to offer degrees in Music Therapy, and Studio Music and Jazz. Renowned for its Instrumental Performance programs, it is the home of the Frost Chamber Orchestra, Frost Symphony Orchestra, and Frost Concert Jazz Band and is a leader in vocal training with the Frost Opera Theater, Frost Chorale and other notable choirs.

Frost is the exclusive home of the Frost Experiential Music Curriculum which fully integrates performance, music history, ear training, music history and composition through chamber music and skills ensembles; the Henry Mancini Institute which provides students with cross-genre performance opportunities in real-world professional settings; the Stamps Family Distinguished Visitors Series which brings free music master classes and lectures to the community; and the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program which develops the creative skills of talented young artist/songwriters by immersing them in the diverse traditions of American songwriting. It is also a leader in music outreach and community engagement programs such as the Frost MusicReach Mentoring Program and will soon launch several after school music programs in collaboration with the Harmony Project Miami.

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Geoffrey Saunders and William Longo, Frost MusicReach Mentors