Students continue to jam in summer months

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The school year in Port Washington ended in June, but students are still involved in music, learning and performing in the summer. 

The Port Washington School District’s Summer Music Program is a four-week program offered for fourth through eighth grades, and 60 students are participating.

“We are thrilled that our student musicians in Port Washington have this wonderful opportunity to make music and have fun in the summer,” said Kevin Sully, the district’s director of creative arts, K-12.

The program’s sessions are split into two-week periods: The first session is held at Weber Middle School and the second is at Manorhaven Elementary School. 

“The Port Washington Summer Music Program has changed formats, adapted and grown,” Sully said. “The students not only make beautiful music, but they also enjoy recreational time and are exposed to a variety of musical experiences that they may not receive during the school year.”

One of the program’s instructors, Aaron Prindle, said the students are fine-tuning their music skills while challenging themselves to take on harder pieces of music.

Throughout the summer, students learn basic music reading skills and focus on playing their instruments with a good quality tone, Prindle said. Students are also involved in basic composition exercises, learning to write their own music with the opportunity to perform their pieces, he added. At the end of the summer, they perform in an ensemble, he said.

“Just like athletes trying to stay in shape,” Prindle said, “musicians need to maintain their fine motor skills and this summer program really allows the students to stay in shape.”

Because students enter the program with different skill sets, Prindle said the instructors’ main goal is to involve and engage the beginners and the experienced players equally. He added that the instructors keep students engaged by selecting music that isn’t standard for a school setting.

“We try to find music that is a bit lighter and more fun that really doesn’t fit in the normal school curriculum,” Prindle said.

The music program is wrapping up its last week, and Prindle said that he and the other instructors are very happy with how the program has grown every year.

By Stephen Romano

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