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Transforming Lives Through Music

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ROCmusic is a community based partnership, designed to introduce classical music to students in the city of Rochester. The program is based on the El Sistema model, which focuses on using music as a tool for social change, working primarily with children that have access to the fewest resources and have the greatest need.

The program began here in Rochester as a partnership between the Eastman School of Music, the Eastman Community Music School, the Hochstein School of Music, the city of Rochester, the Rochester City School District and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. The lessons are provided free of charge to students that live in the city of Rochester from grades 1-12, regardless of their musical background.

The instruction takes place in three levels from the most basic, singing simple songs and learning the recorder, to beginning string instruction and the more advanced string orchestra. Several times each year, the public is invited to the David F. Gantt Community Center to hear the students perform in concert.

What they witness is much more than just the music that these students have learned. As teachers and parents have noticed, the impact of the program can be seen in the progress students have made in their school work, in their attitude and in the relationships they have formed with each other and with teachers. The result of this collaboration is perhaps best summed up in the meaning of the acronym that gives ROCmusic its name: Responsibility, Opportunity, Community.

To learn more, please visit: http://www.esm.rochester.edu/rocmusic/