The Ojai Music Festival Makes Musicians of All Children

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Third graders at Topa Topa as BRAVO music teacher Laura Walter helps them identify a song by reading notes.

The Ojai Music Festival’s BRAVO program is laying the foundation for all of Ojai’s public school children to become musicians, starting at a very early age.  In first and second grades, the students experience songs, games, rhythmic activities and simple sound/symbol matching.  This year, BRAVO has expanded its reach to third graders, who are beginning to read musical notes.  Weekly lessons are taught by Laura Walter using the principles of ETM (Education Through Music).

Next year, when these students are in fourth grade, they will be given the opportunity to sample a variety of instruments, provided by BRAVO. These early musical opportunities are paying dividends, as students are inspired to play instruments or sing in chorus at the intermediate, junior and senior high school level. Students who do not move into further music training have developed an appreciation of music which will serve them well throughout their lives.

According to Kathy Broesamle, ETM volunteer and grandparent of three public school music students, “it’s no wonder that Nordhoff High School has such a strong music program that encompasses classical, jazz, choral and theatrical elements. We are blessed with highly talented and devoted teachers, as well as students who, thanks to BRAVO have a solid music background.”

BRAVO, made possible by the Ojai Music Festival, is funded by community donations and the proceeds from the Holiday Home Look-in and Holiday Marketplace, which will be on November 12-13, 2016.