CB 7 aids PS 56’s music program

(Right) P.S. 56 principal Priscilla Sheeran joined by faculty to receive recorders through donation from Ozzie Brown and representative from Community Board 7. Courtesy of Priscilla Sheeran

In an effort to further encourage musical instruction to local youth, Community Board 7 recently donated recorders to each first grade student attending P.S. 56.

“Music education is always in need of more support and we are honored to be able to help build this type of educational programming in our community,” Ozzie Brown, chair of the board’s Land Use Committee, explained.

As one of few public schools within CB7 that offers either vocal training or instrumental opportunity to its approximate 610 students, grades K-5, CB 7 district manager Fernando Tirado said P.S. 56, located at 341 E. 207th Street, was the perfect candidate for a musical treat.

“P.S. 56 is one of the few schools we were aware of that actually has a music program so strongly supported by the Principal and the board felt this was very important,” stated Tirado.

“We wanted them to take part in something that will affect their lives and all the world around them, and appreciate it in other venues in which they live,” explained P.S. 56 principal Priscilla Sheeran, “we are very passionate about this.”

While the school’s current music classes include keyboard lessons for second and third graders and violin for the fourth and fifth grade students, the youngsters of the bunch, until now, were left out of the musical mix.

Through the donated recorders, the first graders will now have the opportunity to learn how to read and play music on somewhat simple instrument, preparing them for more advanced techniques in future years.

Much more than a few tunes, Sheeran explained, “Music education is part of developing the whole child, which can’t be done simply through classroom academics.”

A strong advocate of music education since she began working at the school as a second grade teacher, Sheeran began the course approximately eight years ago, which includes a choral program for grades two through five.

Furthering her passion, she continued with an instrumental program.

Sheeran expressed that the children’s reaction is one of the most rewarding aspects, and the hope and knowledge of what they will go on to do with their musical abilities. “The children respond very positively and its one of the most enriching experiences, music they can apply to a typical learning day.”

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