Ms. Sousa speaks to 3rd graders about Veterans Park Music Program
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Friday, April 14, 2017
Mrs. Provost, Mr. McAvoy, Ms. Sousa
Mrs. Provost, Mr. McAvoy, Ms. Sousa

The arrival of warmer weather, buds on the trees, tulips and crocuses blooming, songbirds singing and 3rd grade students at Chapin Street gathering in the cafeteria to meet Ms. Nicole Sousa, Veterans Park Music teacher, are all signs that spring has arrived in the Ludlow Public Schools!

Mrs. Meghan Provost, Chapin Street music teacher, explained that this visit has become an annual event allowing 3rd grade students the opportunity to learn about the Veterans Park  music program- specifically band and choral opportunities.  “It’s wonderful that our students are able to learn, first hand, about what will be available to them next year.”

Joining Sousa this year was Mr. Kevin McAvoy, Ludlow High School band director and three very talented LHS band and Tri-M Music Honor Society members-  seniors, Natanael Feliciano (alto sax) and Julia Rouillard (clarinet), and junior, Celia Neveu (flute).  As 3rd grade students watched with intent delight the LHS students and their band director not only shared general information about their specific instrument, but also performed a brief melody to demonstrate how the instrument is played and sounds.    

“Most 4th graders who sign up for our band class have never played an instrument,” explained Sousa to the 3rd graders,  following the demonstrations.  “When you start I will teach all you need to know about your instrument- how to put it together, how to hold it, how to breath into it and how to play notes.  You’ll also encourage one another and soon you will find yourself playing some of your favorite songs!”

Before leaving students also viewed a short video that was put together by past 4th and 5th graders. The video highlighted their experiences and also served as  an overview of the Veterans Park band program.  Students were also given information packets to take home and review with their parents about their options and the procedure to sign up for music classes next year.

“This was the fourth year that Ms. Sousa has run a recruitment event at Chapin but it was the first year high school band members joined me at Chapin, and I think it was extremely positive,” shared McAvoy. “It allowed the younger students to see the possibilities- that taking advantage of the Vets Park music program can one day lead to being a member of the Ludlow High School band.”  

McAvoy also gave credit to Sousa for implementing this annual recruitment event  that has directly impacted the increase in the ability level of students by the time they reach middle school, “I  look forward to the effect this will one day have on the high school band program on both the number of participants and the technical ability of the students.”

“Learning to play an instrument takes a very long time,” added McAvoy. “ Starting in 4th grade gives these kids a chance to develop necessary skills early on so by the time they reach middle and high school they will be quite capable.  Not only that but they get to develop lifelong friendships that will help them when they transition from elementary school to middle school and then to high school.  I look forward to seeing many of these 3rd graders in the future!”


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