The following article was written by Chris Norwood and published on the front page of the Daily Home this past Friday. Erin Thielker is the teacher responsible for arranging this wonderful experience for our children.
The students at C.L. Salter Elementary School had a very special educational experience in music Thursday. An education manager from the Alabama Symphony Orchestra came and taught a series of classes to kindergartners through third graders, culminating with a simulated orchestral performance.
Each class was divided into four sections: percussion, woodwinds, brass and strings. Each group pretended to hold an instrument from that family and make a specific sound, with Meaghan Heinrich of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham. “This is a something new for the symphony, expanding educational programs and adding in school workshops and performances,” she said.
The visit to Salter came about after a class from the school visited the symphony in Birmingham last year. One of the teachers on that trip pointed out “Salter doesn’t have a music teacher or any music classes right now, but she really wanted them to have some more exposure to music in class. So this was a good chance for us to do a test run,” Heinrich explained.
The program will be expanding in the future to include not just other schools but other members of the orchestra as well. “As the education manager, I am not a full time player,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll be sending more full-time performers and groups starting next year.”
Salter Principal Jenni Griffin said the school felt very fortunate. “We really hit a jackpot with this,” she said.
And the students had a ball, too.
After completing their performance and taking a bow, the second grade group requested some music as they were leaving the classroom. Heinrich obliged, playing “When the Saints Go Marching In” on the oboe.