harmony program
new york city
professional musicians and teens
May 8, 2014
More Music

The Harmony Program


Scott: Now for all you music lovers out there, here is Demetrius Pipkin with a group of young people who got the chance to do something that many could only dream about.

Demetrius: They started rehearsing a full five hours before their show time. That is on top of practicing for at least two hours every day.

These 58 kids are part of a program called Harmony. They get free instruments and training, neither of which they would be able to afford on their own. Ten-year-old Wagner Montero joined about a year ago and nicknamed his cello ‘Lightning’. What does Wagner think is the hardest part about playing the cello?

Wagner Montero: For me, actually, nothing.

Demetrius: One of the incredible parts of the program is that kids get to play with world famous musicians. Three months ago, was violinist Joshua Bell. Two years ago, conductor Placido Domingo. On this particular day, they were performing with ten members of the New York Philharmonic, like cellist Patrick Jee.

Patrick Jee: It’s all about meeting youngsters and meeting, basically, the next generation of musicians and trying to foster some kind of appreciation for what we do.

Demetrius: Annie Fitzgibbon created The Harmony Program six years ago for kids from third through seventh grade in New York. She says getting the professional musicians to volunteer is easy because they know the impact music can have on a child.

Fitzgibbon: I think what is so important about music is that it does require of these kids discipline and structure and focus and all of these wonderful skills that they need to develop. I say I get more nervous than the children and I get more nervous than their parents.

Demetrius: But all the hours of practice were worth it. Because their performance was perfect!

Demetrius Pipkin, Channel One News.


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