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In the fall of 2015, the Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra launched two exciting new partnership programs for Chicago Public Schools: an in-school residency program and a teacher professional development community. On this page, you will find more information about the culminating events presented at each school. To learn more about the residency program on Sounds & Stories, please click here.

In 2015, the Negaunee Music Institute at the CSO piloted a new school partnership program for two Chicago Public Schools. Each school received ten in-class lessons led by CSO teaching artists, in-school performances by CSO and Civic chamber ensembles, and a field trip to attend a CSO School Concert. Participating schools also presented an “informance,” a showcase of student learning for the school community.

The planning team at Pickard Elementary developed a final project that paired music with narrative storytelling.  The students, after intensive lessons about Felix Mendelssohn’s music and exploration of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, created a re-telling of the classic work and composed musical phrases that represented characters, important moments in the plot and various settings in the play.

“It was fun to write the music for our characters. My favorite was the one that we made for Jacob [Lysander] because I liked playing it on the drum.” – 4th Grade Student, Pickard Elementary

At Sawyer, the final project utilized student compositions and performances to enhance an assignment in their World Cultures unit—in a typical year, each third grade class would create a quilt after reading the picture book The Keeping Quilt. Using music as an anchor, the project was altered so that students would instead create a Sound Quilt, composing short rhythmic phrases and stitching them together in a live performance for their peers and families.

Both informances showcased student success, and were highly attended by families and community members.

“I wish we could have done the play more than just one time!” – 4th Grade Student, Pickard Elementary