Piedmont Learning Academy for Youth partners with Winston-Salem school to teach kids how to play violin

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You might call it the power of PLAY — the Piedmont Learning Academy for Youth music. Through a special partnership with the Winston-Salem Symphony, these kindergartners at Easton Elementary School are learning how to play the violin.

They started at the beginning of the school year with the “paper orchestra” where they make their own instrument. They learned the basics with their paper violin like how to stand and hold the instrument.

Then, when the students have proven their knowledge and respect of the instruments, they get to unbox and learn on real violins.

Rachel Watson, the PLAY program manager, says the program is beneficial in many ways.

“We’re not necessarily trying to create little prodigy children..little Mozarts, but we’re trying to grow the whole individual,” she says. “We look at growing them musically, academically and socially.”

Easton principal Colin Tribby knows the value of this program. An accomplished musician and Symphony member himself, he says it is exciting to watch his students learn and grow.

“It’s phenomenal. They’re learning everything they need to learn about music, but they are doing it through one vehicle and that’s the violin. And so it’s a wonderful thing.”

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