CDAL Boston: Learn about the Second Year (Class of 2013)



TEAM NAME: The Magic Flute and the Sugar Strings
PARTNER: Conservatory Lab Charter School, Brighton | Map
TEAM MEMBERS: Juree Kim, flute; Greta Myatieva, violin; Chris Beadles-Rogers, viola; and Ju Hyun Lee and Andrew Laven, cello 

From the Top arts leaders spent the school year offering elementary school students at Conservatory Lab Charter School their first taste of chamber music.

While all students at the music-infused charter school in Brighton receive free daily instrumental instruction and participate in orchestra, none of the students had access to playing in a small ensemble until the From the Top team started working at the school.

In the fall, the From the Top team mentored seven Conservatory Lab students using a side-by-side coaching model, culminating in a performance of Handel's Hornpipe Number Eight for the school community.

In the winter, the team worked with a new group of eight students, tackling Vivaldi’s Spring in preparation for a public performance in late February. Watch their performance here.  

 “We came a long way from being individual arts leaders to a real team that worked with young musicians, in order to prepare for a showcase.” Ju Hyun Lee



TEAM NAME: Godd Squad
PARTNER: Goddard House, Assisted Living, Brookline | Map
TEAM MEMBERS: Gardner Nash, percussion; Nate Ko, violin; Adam Kaminski, guitar; From the Top staff members: Anne Gregory, flute and Katie Rolph, soprano

At Goddard House, a private, non-profit elder care facility, From the Top arts leaders used music to build meaningful activities, inspire conversation, and develop relationships between residents.

Using their diverse instruments and musical backgrounds, the team led bi-monthly events, including themed nights and participatory music making – from singing, to drum circles, to discussions about music and instrument genres.

Attendance was robust on the part of the residents and the music  stimulated a lot of conversation. A highlight was “Election Night,” which included Americana music along with a lively discussion about voting, with many residents sharing memories of voting for Roosevelt. In a spontaneous moment the residents leapt to their feet and all started singing in response to the Godd Squad’s jazzy rendition of “God Bless America.”

The team also worked with residents on creating a Goddard Songbook for the Goddard library and planned a culminating spring event "Gatsby Night" that was open to residents’ friends and families.


TEAM NAME: The Treblemakers
PARTNER: Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston | Map
TEAM MEMBERS: Dan Kim, piano; Corrine Goggin, guitar and voice; Rachel Tils, voice; Sally Rifkin, piano; JP de Mello Barreto, guitar

From the Top arts leaders worked with Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies staff to learn how music is used to enhance a healing environment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and reduce patient stress. The team first learned about music therapy strategies and how to create a soothing environment in Dana Farber’s lobby – an area often filled with tension and stress as patients and families wait for test results and prescriptions.

The team applied that learning to plan and perform three concerts for patients and families. Building on the diverse musical styles of the team – from classical to Bossa Nova to musical theatre – they developed a wonderfully varied and inviting set list, with a mix of instrumental pieces and familiar songs, including “Stand by Me” and “Girl from Ipanema”. 

Additionally, the arts leaders worked with Dana-Farber’s music therapists in planning and leading a drum circle for adult patients. They also developed and produced a CD and digital playlist specifically for teen patients that is now a permanent part of Dana-Farber’s resource center. 

"Each of us felt like we were really connecting with the patients…two men even sat closer to us and sang along to the songs they knew!"  Rachel Tils 

"Having the From the Top team at Dana-Farber has been a wonderful experience and the relationship proved to be a “win-win” for all involved." Brian Jantz, Music Therapist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute



PARTNER: musiConnects (Boston Public Quartet) at Chittick Elementary School, Mattapan | Map
TEAM MEMBERS: Kate Arndt, violin; Antoine Malfroy-Camine, cello; Avery Kimmel, flute; Joe Blumberg, trumpet and Yuki Beppu, violin

At the James J. Chittick Elementary School in Mattapan, From the Top arts leaders led an after-school introductory music program for 12 first grade students (who all happened to work with last year’s class of From the Top arts leaders when they were in kindergarten). 

Using recorders and a rousing arrangement of Hot Cross Buns, the team worked with the students as an ensemble and individually to introduce and reinforce key music building blocks – pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and solo and ensemble playing – building on the curriculum that was started by the CDAL 2011-12 project team.  

This instruction will set these students up to be candidates for musiConnects, a chamber music program at Chittick led by the Boston Public Quartet, that provides intensive mentoring and community building through violin, viola, and cello lessons taught within a chamber music model.

 “A young girl walked up to me while I was playing and asked to play the trumpet. So we talked, and I taught her how to buzz her lips. After five minutes of teaching her, she actually produced an F on the instrument! The look on her face, one of sheer amazement, reminded me of why I play music and why I am in this program.” Joe Blumberg



PARTNER: Citizen Schools at Orchard Gardens School, Roxbury | Map
TEAM MEMBERS: Eva Goldstein, viola; Nicholas Griffiths, piano; Anthony Cheung, oboe, Oona Cullen, guitar and voice; Edward Wang, piano and clarinet

At the Orchard Gardens K-8 School in Roxbury, a participant in the national Citizen Schools initiative, From the Top arts leaders developed an introductory music class for middle school students.

They taught a weekly class called "For the Love of Music!" in which 15 seventh grade students explored the power of music to make a difference in their community. Over the 10 week class, Orchard Gardens students were engaged in music-making, developing teamwork skills, and learning about the different instruments and musical styles played by the team members.

The class culminated in a community performance featuring the Orchard Gardens students singing “Lean on Me” accompanied by the From the Top team, in addition to other musical selections. The concert raised awareness about bullying, a community issue of the students' choosing, and they were involved in all aspects of planning and producing the event. 

“Our goal is to bring our passion for music to our students and teach them some of what we know.” Eva Goldstein