Students at Bedford Hills Elementary School laughed, danced, and acted on stage as part of an arts-in-education program held there Thursday afternoon.
But it wasn't just about having a good time, said music teacher Jobl Perkins. The program added depth to their knowledge of Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf.
Students prepared ahead of time and learned the story and music in class with Perkins. "We learned how to move to the music and experience the characters through movement, and how to tell the story," he said. "They learned how to use their bodies represent sound."
And during the performance, they watched an actor work with the Phoenix Woodwind Quintet to associate music and movement with the characters in the play. For example all five musicians—including a french horn, a flute, a bassoon, a clarinet and an oboe—playing together represented the wolf entering the story.
Though every student in the school has the opportunity to learn with Perkins, not every student has the chance to attend live arts performances outside of school—highlighting the importance of hosting in-school arts programs, said Becky Sussman, who coordinated the enrichment program with Lisa Myers-Green.
Last year the enrichment committee hosted the and this year they decided to work with Young Audiences, a national network of arts-in-education services providing theatre, visual arts, dance and other programs to schools.
The program was sponsored by the . Janet Jacobsen and Paula Wallace, officers of the organization, attended the performance and said they were pleased to support elementary school children, who were an important part of the community.
"With this program, we felt we could reach the lives of many children," said Wallace.
For highlights of the performance and more, watch the short video posted with this story.