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Linking US Orchestras with Their Communities

For more than 25 years, Link Up, a program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI), has brought fun and engaging musical experiences to thousands of elementary students in classrooms throughout the New York metropolitan area. More recently, Carnegie Hall has significantly increased the number of children taking part in Link Up nationally, providing this innovative curriculum free-of-charge to more than 30 orchestras throughout the country to support their existing educational programs. National participation has tripled over the last year, with more than 140,000 kids nationwide taking part this season.



Link Up invites children in grades 3–5 to learn about the orchestra by encouraging them to take part in it, incorporating hands-on music making with recorders and other instruments into engaging classroom activities. Teachers in each orchestra’s community receive free curriculum guides, DVD and audio resources, and workbooks for students to use throughout the year. During the 2011–2012 season, a new Link Up curriculum, The Orchestra Moves, enables students to explore how composers create a sense of musical movement using motif, melodic direction, steps and leaps, dynamics, and orchestration.

The Orchestra Moves
joins other Link Up curricula, The Orchestra Rocks and The Orchestra Sings, introducing kids to a range of orchestral repertoire and musical concepts. At the end of the year, participating students attend a culminating Link Up concert by their local orchestra, at which they sing and play along from their seats. "I absolutely love the program and feel that it has pushed me to have my students perform at a much higher level," said Omaha Symphony teacher Deborah Mosier. "It is a really great opportunity for the kids in this area to learn recorder skills and to become familiar with our concert hall and symphony."

WMI’s Online Resource Center also allows Link Up members to take advantage of free high-quality curriculum materials, in-depth online audio and video resources, and professional development webinars as they produce Link Up programs in their own communities.

Malcolm White, executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, points out, "This partnership changes the playing field for us. It allows us to reach more students across our whole state."

Link Up 2011–2012
Link Up National
Live from Meridian: Students Applaud Link Up National
Weill Music Institute 

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