Philly students get a lesson in jazz at the Kimmel Center

"This music has been here. It deserves to be taught to Philadelphia children."

Antionette Lee
October 17, 2018 - 5:39 pm

Antionette Lee | KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts kicked off their jazz education program to the delight of hundreds of elementary school students Wednesday.

The education program, Jazz Standards, featured a concert by Terell Stafford and the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia. Hundreds of 4th grade students got a taste of what they will study during the semester.

Stafford, the artistic director of the orchestra, says the concert is only the beginning of their education and exposure to the world of blues, swing, and Latin jazz.

"It was a really, really tough crowd," said Stafford. "Even though they may not understand everything that was happening, it's okay because the more they hear it the more they understand, the more patience that they have with the music and the music can have with them."

Charley, a 12-year-old Discovery Charter school student, is excited to learn about jazz.

"Yes, because it's a different style, different genre of music," he said.

This is the third year of the program which educates students who live in the Philadelphia area. 

"Some of the highest GPA's are in the music department. If you can appreciate the music and even go a step forward and even be interested in learning some of the music, I think it can enhance other skills that you have," said Stafford.

Ethan Fisher, a teacher with the Kimmel Center, says the program is a full circle moment.

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"I actually got my start here at the Kimmel Center when I was younger, so it feels good to come back as a teaching artist, to come back and teach younger kids so hopefully they'll come back and become a part of the Kimmel Center education center like I did," he said.

Carlos Santiago, who also teaches for the Kimmel Center, was exposed to jazz music through the Philadelphia school system.

"This music has been here. Its part of our rich history. It deserves to be taught to Philadelphia children," he said.