The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations

Carnegie Hall - Count Me In

The Carnegie Hall keeps on developing its long-standing educational and social commitment through the Weill Music Institute

Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) offers broad-reaching education, community, and professional training programs of the highest quality, giving people of all ages the opportunity to create, experience, and enjoy the benefits of live music.

At a time when public funding for arts programs is in jeopardy, WMI’s comprehensive school-based programs for K-12, including Count Me In, offer much-needed music education resources for school with reduces or no arts programming.

Count Me In is a high-quality choral workshop that serves low-income students in grades 6-8 in New York City public schools who have an interest in vocal music but who attend school without established choral programs.

It helps fill a critical need for enriching in meaningful choral opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in NYC.
The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations are thrilled to support a program that provides exceptional choral training for low-income middle school students.

Count Me In, an initiative that accompanies talented but underserved middle school students

Count Me In is an afterschool initiative that provides a free choral experience for middle school students from the 4 boroughs of NYC. Every school involved in the program is designated as Title 1, with many of the students at risk of academic failure.

The program focuses on sight-singing, rhythm, pitch, diction, and audition techniques, while instilling a sense of achievement and connection with fellow participants. Students from 2-5 schools in each of the four boroughs – Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan – come to sessions at a central location to study singing with professionals.

It has been extraordinarily successful since its launch more than two years ago, helping a high percentage of auditioning 8th graders gain admission to performing arts high schools.

In the 2013-2014 season, WMI expanded Count Me In by offering two workshops: a fall workshop focused on audition preparation for 8th grade students; and a new spring workshop providing a more extended choral experience for middle school students while also engaging the school community.

The fall workshop format consisted of eights workshops: six 90-minute rehearsals; a one-on-one mock audition where each student was allotted a 10-minute slot to sing for program staff and guest panelists and a final recital for friends and family in which students performed their respective audition pieces.

The spring workshop – 12 weekly sessions from February to May at participating schools - focused more on choral music rather than on individual vocal repertoire. It attracted many students who wanted to experience singing in a choir but were not interested in applying to performing arts high schools in the future.

The final receptions and concerts in May were celebrations of the students’ accomplishments attended by family, friends, teachers, and administrators. The perfect match.

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