CMSS engages in a variety of community partnerships and programs in public schools, community centers, and senior centers. CMSS’ community partnership programs are a critical aspect of making arts education accessible to under-served people. If you would like to support our efforts, please make a gift today.
Sonido Musica is an innovative and highly acclaimed music partnership program between the Springfield, MA Public Schools and Community Music School of Springfield. Sonido Musica aims to reduce the high school drop-out rate in our district and significantly increase high school graduation rates in the City of Springfield through student engagement, leadership and performance opportunities.
Students in Sonido Musica participate in weekly hour long classes on their chosen instrument (violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet or trombone) led by CMSS faculty. Ensemble music instruction at a young age helps children excel academically, socially, and creatively. Students find increased capacity for positive social interaction, creativity, critical thinking, increased self-esteem and a way to relate in the community in a positive and healthy manner. Current Sonido Musica participants have already demonstrated increased attendance as compared to non-participants and a marked decrease in out-of-school suspensions and disciplinary incidents.
Sonido Musica has been extremely well received by the SPS school district, as CMSS was named Massachusetts School Committee’s Outstanding School Partner for 2015. This initiative received the 2015 Yale University’s Distinguished Music Education award. Sonido Musica is deeply indebted to the ongoing support of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, who selected the Sonido Musica program as recipient of the SerHacer creative youth development grant, and considers this program a national model for building a sustainable music education back into the public schools through cross-sector partnership. The MCC’s STARS grants support each school’s residencies and have allowed Sonido Musica to flourish across our district.
Having begun in 2012 in 3 pilot middle school programs with 60 students, Sonido Musica now serves over 800 students weekly in our school partnership programs in elementary, middle and high schools in Springfield. With the growth of this program, the need for instruments grows as well. We receive essential support from The Johnson String Project and Gerry’s Music Shop each year. However, the demand far outpaces the supply, and we seek additional resources for musical instruments. Each summer, CMSS holds an instrument donation drive called Play It Forward, with drop-off locations throughout Greater Springfield. Instruments are accepted year-round at CMSS’ home at 127 State Street.
Adaptive Music Partnership (AMP) Program:
Inspired by the success of Sonido Musica, in 2016 CMSS launched the Adaptive Music Partnership (AMP) under the direction of Andrew D’Antonio (M.S.T. in Special Education Fordham University, M.M. University of Massachusetts Amherst.) AMP works hand-in-hand with Springfield Public Schools, offering tailored music classes to special needs students. In the 2016-2017 academic year, over 200 students participated in AMP. Our partners have included Early Childhood Education Center, Boland Elementary, Duggan Academy, and Chestnut TAG.
Historically, special needs students have not always had the same access to music classes as their typical-developing peers. For many of the students who participated in AMP, this was their very first music class. In addition to addressing musical goals, AMP targets cognitive, social, emotional, and gross and fine motor goals through music.
Coming in 2017, CMSS will be starting the Adaptive Music Institute. The Institute will offer professional development opportunities for traditional and non-traditional music educators interested in special education. For full details, click here.
Our faculty participates in a program to bring music to adults and families in statewide housing complexes, performing as many as 80 concerts each year.