The Issue: The Value of Arts Education
According to studies surveyed by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, underserved students who are engaged in the arts "are more likely than their non-arts-engaged peers to have attended and done well in college, [built] careers, volunteered in their communities and participated in the political process by voting." The committee found that musical training in particular is correlated with the development of early reading skills and, through the division of notes into measures, mathematical awareness. Performing also helps children build self-esteem as they accomplish artistic feats with their peers.
The Campaign: Sponsoring Choral Programs in Schools
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Cantare Con Vivo to bring the joy of singing to underserved schoolchildren. For every $10 raised, Cantare Con Vivo can help fund its choral music-education program in Oakland schools. If $2,500 is raised, the organization can fully implement the program for one year in a new classroom.
This program, the Cantare Children's Choirs of Oakland, educates more than 2,300 students about choral music in 10 schools that have limited access to arts programs. In some elementary schools, children attend a weekly music class during the school day to learn about fundamental musical skills and folk songs from diverse cultures. Others students participate in after-school choirs such as Music Stars, which introduces kids to a variety of styles, singing in unison, and musical theory. The Nova ensemble, meanwhile, brings together singers from 12 area schools to learn an advanced choral repertoire. Together, the students work on their musical skills, teamwork, and self-confidence. Occasional field trips and special events help bring their experience into the real world, showing the kids how magical seeing live music can be.
Cantare Con Vivo
Cantare Con Vivo started as a 24-voice choral ensemble, but more than 25 years later, it raises thousands of voices across the city of Oakland. Now, the organization, which seeks to bring together a diverse community through music, is divided into three distinct wings. One hundred auditioned singers compose a chorale that showcases four concert programs each season, including works with full orchestra. The 24-person chamber ensemble performs throughout the Bay Area, featuring both brand-new and historically renowned pieces from around the world.
But those ensembles don't account for the largest number of voices. That distinction goes to Cantare Con Vivo's outreach arm, Cantare Children's Choirs of Oakland. The program sponsors in-school choral music education and after-school choirs for more than 2,300 underserved kids in 10 local elementary, middle, and high schools. The students, who otherwise might not have access to any arts education, get to learn about music and themselves while performing great works for their family and friends.