Palm Springs Unified School District preschoolers are being exposed to singing, musical movement and simple musical instruments through a new partnership with the Steinway Society of Riverside County.
The brainchild of PSUSD Arts Coordinator Louisa Castrodale and Steinway Society President and Founder Ruth Moir, the new program has two trained Steinway music educators visiting Early Childhood Education classes twice weekly for six weeks. The program pilot launched at Julius Corsini Elementary’s preschool classes earlier this month, and plans are to expand to other sites next school year.
“Early childhood education is incredibly important, and we are so pleased to incorporate additional music and other arts opportunities into our daily classes for young children,” said PSUSD Early Childhood Education Director Myra Acosta.
The initial classes have been met with overwhelmingly positive responses from students and their teachers.
“Our District has been ardently providing access and opportunities in the arts for over a decade,” said Castrodale. “I began thinking of how we could start working with students at an even earlier age, and that’s where the idea for this program began.”
Last year, the District teamed with the Steinway Society to begin a new ukulele program at Cathedral City and Cabot Yerxa Elementary schools in addition to the seven piano labs offered at District elementary schools. The 11-year partnership with Steinway also features an annual music concert at each elementary site, and free music docent programs. PSUSD also partners with Steinway to host their annual student competition at Rancho Mirage High School.
The music docent program consists of the “Mr. McSymphony” and Basics of Orchestra, which includes music education presentations provided by trained docents offered to the schools free of charge.”
“PSUSD and the Steinway Society have enjoyed a dynamic and fruitful partnership for the past 11 years,” said Castrodale. “During that time, we have, together, provided thousands of exposures to musical experiences, music education and instruction in musical instruments. PSUD is incredibly grateful for the support of the arts community in providing such impactful and innovative offerings to students in the Coachella Valley.”