Christine CorradoJun 16, 2017, 5:32 pmJun 16, 2017, 5:37 pm

Music partnership to bring instruments, instruction to Mt. Vernon schools

State Senator Jeff Klein secured $80K in funding to have Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance musicians help students explore their interests in music

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5-time Grammy winner Arturo O'Farrill slams his fingers down on the keyboard today in the small theater at Mount Vernon High School, showing how music can shape someone to do amazing things.

"It’s only by learning about one another that we really find out how much we have in common and the arts is the tool for that," said O’Farrill.

Mount Vernon is getting $80,000 in state funding, secured by State Senator Jeff Klein, to encourage students to explore their interests in music through a new music program.

"They don't have to purchase their own instruments, they are going to get the instruments as well,” said Senator Klein. “They will learn on the instruments and I guarantee you we will come back and these same students will perform."

"It’s been shown over and over again that music teaches kids about patternistic thinking, differences in dimensions,” added O’Farrill. “So it’s really good for STEM: sciences, English, mathematics."

The Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance teachers will come to the high school to teach students like Michelle Vaez, who has not picked up an instrument since elementary school, how to play instruments.

"My violin teacher never came back to school, but with this new grant I should be able to play violin more and explore new instruments," said Vaez.

The program starts up in the fall of the next school year.

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