MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- Columbus fourth graders had great seats at Lincoln Center to hear the New York Philharmonic perform a tribute to Finnish composer Jean Sibelius and the music of his homeland.
The trip was part of Lincoln Center’s Young People’s Concert “Jean Sibelius: Music of a Hero, Music of a Nation” held on Jan. 20 at David Geffen Hall in New York City. Music teacher Barbara Schulz said this is the third year that the fourth graders have attended the Philharmonic.
Prior to their trip, she and fellow teacher Michael Hood prepared students by familiarizing them with the music they would be hearing as well as background on Sibelius who through his music united his country to seek its independence.
“Students were given an overview of Finland and the wonderful natural places there,” Schulz said of their pre-concert introduction. “They learned about Jean Sibelius and how this important composer from Finland changed the course of his country.”
Part of their in-school introduction to the Philharmonic experience was to understand how Sibelius used elements of music to create a mood and tell a story. They learned through simple hands-on activities that rhythms can create a feeling of motion and that dynamics can play a role in storytelling. Discussions about the use of different instruments illustrated how they can also help tell a story.
When the fourth graders arrived at Lincoln Center they were ready to experience the epic works they had learned about.
“It was really good,” said Emma DeLouise who was impressed with the venue and the program.
She said she loves music and enjoyed seeing professionals play the music they learned about.
The fourth graders will also learn Finland's national anthem and play it at their spring concert.