The Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra (ABYSO) has formally launched its first music outreach programme at the Potters Primary School. The programme is intended to spread music education and performance opportunities to students at the Potters Primary School, which does not presently have a music programme.
This proposed long-term partnership with the ABYSO will expose students to the joys of music making, equipping them with a new skill and introducing them to all of the proven mental and intellectual benefits of music.
Claudine Benjamin, the Deputy Chair and Chief Operations Officer of the ABYSO, who is also a past student of the Potters Primary School, shared that the ABYSO Board of Directors was unanimous in its approval of this partnership with Potters Primary. She noted that the aim of the outreach programme is to spread the Orchestra’s reach beyond just those who choose to join it and to build a community hub for students, parents and well-wishers to convene around a positive influence.
She said, “Within many schools, music education isn’t a subject that is on the curriculum nor is it normally prioritized by families as an important subject where it does exist. We are firmly of the view that access to music education lends to greater academic accomplishments and develops more balanced young people. We are thrilled to be able to offer these benefits to the students at Potters Primary’.
Jasinter Athill, Principal of the Potters Primary School, stated how excited and honoured the school is to be selected by the ABYSO for this partnership. She said, “Our teachers, students and parents are really excited about this programme and its long term outlook. The community of Potters itself has a vibrant and illustrious music tradition and the school sits in pole position to kindle the flames of music within students who attend our school not just from Potters but from neighbouring communities”.
The programme currently supports 30 students in weekly violin, cello, clarinet and theory classes. The classes are led by ABYSO Tutors enrolled in the ABYSO Train the Trainers Programme which develops music teaching capacity for all orchestral instruments.
The ABYSO will soon launch the programme on Barbuda thus ensuring that its outreach benefits students on both Islands. Students who excel in these programmes will be given the opportunity to audition for the ABYSO or ABYSO Junior programme.