Fifth graders to try instruments at Petting Zoo

While part of my job with the Rockford Public Schools includes helping promote music and the fine arts, I was never in band or played a musical instrument. Naturally, in helping plan the district’s Instrument Petting Zoo last year, I didn’t think I’d be much help. I was so wrong. The Instrument Petting Zoo is a field trip our district fifth graders take to Riverfront Museum Park. There, they are introduced to most of the band and orchestra instruments offered at the middle school level. It’s essentially a recruiting tool for our middle school...

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RPS instrument petting zoo to build on momentum in music programs

Rockford Public Schools’ instrument petting zoo will go on as scheduled Wednesday through Friday at Riverfront Museum Park. (The first two days were cancelled because of weather-related school closings. They will be rescheduled.) The zoo is for fifth graders; it is designed to let them touch, listen and play with instruments. The Register Star’s Corina Curry did a great job describing the event, in which 2,000 students are expected to pass through the doors of the museum park. They will see how a bow feels in their hand. They...

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Middle school band students celebrate their growing music program

The banner read “Building Music In Our Schools,” and the students carried it proudly. About 40 students from five middle schools celebrated the Rockford Public Schools growing music program by participating in Monday’s Rockford Labor Day Parade on the streets of downtown. Students either rode in the red-and-blue decorated float, or they marched alongside waving or holding up signs with their school names. Along with their band directors, the students were celebrating. And rightly so. During the 2011-2012 school year,...

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