Guest Commentary: The Levine School of Music & the City of Falls Church

September 27, 2012 3:00 PM0 comments

The Levine School of Music is excited by the prospect of a new home in the City of Falls Church. Though we currently reside and run a successful program in nearby Arlington (serving some 550 students a week), we are eager to bring music education to the residents of Falls Church in a new and expanded space, participate actively in the development of an arts district and attract new audiences, to the benefit of all arts organizations in a thriving cultural community.

Levine’s mission is to provide a welcoming community where children and adults can find lifelong inspiration and joy through learning, performing, listening to, and participating with others in music. Our core values – excellence, opportunity and community – infuse everything we do. Our distinguished faculty offers a broad and well-rounded curriculum that provides a strong musical foundation for children and adults of different ages, abilities, and interests. We strive to make Levine education available to those who lack the financial means, with many students receiving scholarship assistance. And, we work hard to build a community around the joy of making music.

For some students, Levine means weekly lessons, working with a dedicated teacher who helps each individual develop a love of music no matter one’s age or level of proficiency. For others, Levine means participating in a monthly Community Sing where, within minutes, strangers are part of a chorus singing in four-part harmony. Some find a home at our Music and Arts Camp, where children (ages 4 – 11), have a chance to discover and explore a new instrument in a joyous setting. Toddlers get an introduction to music and the excitement of rhythms and beats through our Early Childhood Music Program. Finally, Levine means the remarkable transformative powers of Music Therapy for the child or adult with disabilities.

We are proud to create communities of music lovers within the Levine family and are equally proud to be part of the wider community in which we live. We work in partnership with arts and community-based organizations to build strong, vital programs that capitalize on each entity’s unique strengths to make our neighborhoods even more attractive places to live and work. These partnerships take many different forms, but they all demonstrate Levine’s keen interest in collaboration and building community.

For example, at our Southeast D.C. Campus at THEARC, our teachers and students join with the Washington Ballet and the Corcoran for an “Arts Day” open house for the community. At our Maryland Campus, we conduct pre-concert lectures for Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performances at the Music Center at Strathmore. Our Music Theater program, (“Act Two at Levine”) performs on the stages of Georgetown Preparatory School, at Woolly Mammoth Theater and Arena Stage (in 2013). In so doing, we bring new audiences to these celebrated venues and help enhance the overall arts communities in this region.

Levine Presents, our performance series, includes concerts, master classes, and recitals featuring students, faculty, and acclaimed guest artists at more than a dozen sites across the metropolitan area. Open to the public and largely free (or with a nominal admission charge), Levine Presents reaches thousands of music lovers each year. These events build audiences that benefit area arts and businesses, and bring many individuals to venues they might not have known previously.

Levine can bring this dedication to the arts community in Falls Church. We know that Falls Church has resources in place that could lead to many exciting partnerships that will benefit Levine as well. CATCH is a strong advocate for the arts in all forms and we look forward to working with the City’s Humanities Council, as well as with Creative Cauldron, Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, ArtSpace, First Friday, the Chamber of Commerce and others. It is the vibrant culture that these organizations have created in the City that attracted Levine to Falls Church in the first place.

We are eager to engage in a dialogue and work with local arts and civic leaders to jointly develop programs for the City. For example, we can envision our music therapists working with the residents of the local Sunrise Senior Living Community; we can see Levine performers at the City’s Farmers’ Market on Saturdays; or Levine’s Virginia Big Band performing at the Taste of Falls Church. And, we have outstanding teachers ready to support and enhance a student’s participation in the GMHS orchestra with additional coaching.

Excellence in teaching, offering opportunities to those in need, performing for the public, and building community around music – this is what Levine is all about. Those values will benefit the City’s residents and the arts and business communities for whom Falls Church is home. We look forward to joining forces with all to help develop something special.

 


Peter A. Jablow is the president and CEO of the Levine School of Music.

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