With effort to amplify and expand the role of music in the educational and social development of youth, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, created the Detroit Harmony program – a citywide effort that aims to put instruments in the hands of every Detroit student, over time, while increasing workforce opportunities for music teachers and craftsmen with skills to repair and refurbish instruments.
The concept is bold and will serve K-12 public, private and charter school students throughout the city, with an interest in learning how to play an instrument.
“We want to make sure that regardless of what school you’re in, regardless of what neighborhood you live in, you still deserve the best possible music education.” - Caen Thomason-Regus, DSO
“Our position, as a musical organization is, we want to make sure that regardless of what school you’re in, regardless of what neighborhood you live in; if you’re a kid in Detroit, you still deserve the best possible music education and we all need to work together to make that happen,” says Caen Thomason-Redus, senior director of community and planning at the DSO.
Detroit Harmony is still in strategic planning stages but reached its first phase of funding, from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation.
When it reaches full bloom, the DSO envisions a free program that contributes to the benefits of incorporating art-based learning with general curriculum and nurturing creative expression among youth.
Click the player for CultureShift’s Ryan Patrick Hooper’s conversation with Caen Thomason-Redus to learn more about Detroit Harmony and the state of music education in the city.
Audio Interview - Ryan Patrick Hooper
Words by - LaToya Cross