By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - At a time when budgets have cut music in schools, Play On, Philly, which aims to close the achievement gap for students from low socioeconomic neighborhoods through intensive study, is changing lives.
Research has shown that musical training imparts cognitive and social skills needed for success.
At Freire Charter Middle School and St. Francis de Sales School, “Play On, Philly” engages 250 kids for three hours daily after school, with group instrumental instruction as well as choir and ensemble.
It’s all tuition free, taught by 30 of the region’s professionally trained musicians.
Play On, Philly, led by 26-year-old Stanford Thompson, a Curtis Institute graduate, is modeled on “El Sistema,” the social and music education program of Venezuela.
And the skills and confidence its students are gaining is quickly paying off.
Play On, Philly graduates are moving on to the city’s best high schools including Masterman, Central, Girls’ High, and GAMP, not to mention Friere’s own high school.
And, families benefit too, seeing their children succeed.
Learn more at PlayOnPhilly.org.