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 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, trombone or drums) 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 — 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, along with offshoots Sonido Holyoke (Holyoke Public Schools) and String Village (charter and parochial schools) now serve over 1,000 students weekly in elementary, middle and high schools. 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.
Sonido Musica is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives support from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Sonido Musica is a critical part of making arts education accessible to under-served people. If you would like to support our efforts, please make a gift today.