Live performance can be thought of as an invitation, with each audience member as the subject. We have all been there, cringing as we watch an acrobat twisting himself into a pretzel, or feeling like we could prance around on our tiptoes while watching a ballet. When you watch someone else move or perform, the same neurons in your brain (mirror neurons) fire as if you were the one doing the action. This happens in musical performance, and additionally, heightens the concept, with the subtleties of imitating an infinite number of characters, moods, and movements. JUMP! will explore the concept of “musical invitations” this semester. The program will encourage children to engage with music and explore what the music is inviting them to experience. It will cover questions such as, “how does this music make me feel? How does this beat invite me to dance? How does this sound invite me to move?” Interactive performances of all instrument types will facilitate this exploration of sound. Rachel Mooers, MM viola, JUMP coordinator 2017-2018.
Each year Shepherd School students coordinate JUMP! as an independent study course. In the process, they learn such valuable skills as concert programming, production, promotion, presentation and peer mentoring.
All concerts are free of charge, but by reservation only. All six inreach concerts are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoons. For questions or reservations, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
The inreach (in-house outreach concerts) concept was conceived by students and faculty from the wind chamber music class at the Shepherd School. Student coordinators soon expanded the program to include student performers from all departments at the school.
Rachel Buchman, head of the Young Children’s Division at the Shepherd School, teaches participating students the special performing skills needed to create a fun and informative classical music experience. Other Shepherd School faculty coach the chamber music groups and advise student leaders on planning and administration.
Student coordinators find many benefits come from the JUMP! program. Sharing music with children is exciting, energizing, and brings a fresh perspective to their art. In addition to attending a free concert in the intimate setting of Duncan Recital Hall, some school groups include a campus tour in their visit to Rice.
For many, it is their first experience on a college campus. As one faculty member observed, “Who knows what dreams can come from these experiences? If even one or two children can be inspired to go to college, it will be worth it.”