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Grade 4 Musicians Gets A Taste of the Spotlight

Everyone knows what a “performance” is.

But an “informance” can be a pretty powerful thing as well, according to Keith Berry, who oversees the music department in town.

Berry has been raving about a new program designed to give family members insights into music instruction at the grade 4 level.

“Music teachers put a lot of effort into helping our students to sound good,” Berry said. “That is in our educational DNA.”

But it takes time for students to become adept enough with their band and orchestra instruments to actually perform in a concert setting.

That’s where these “informances” come in. Over the past few weeks, parents, guardians and other caregivers at each elementary school were invited to come in during the school day to see the band and orchestra teachers working with their students -- essentially demonstrating elements of a lesson. (The accompany photo shows band students at Washington School.)

Teachers also reviewed various tips -- how much students should practice each night, what to do if a child’s instrument was not working properly, and so on.

Berry, who teaches at MHS, was able to attend a few of the events and said he saw school gyms “alive with many proud family members gathered to see and hear their child in their first public ‘concert’.”

Berry added: “In the words of a proud parent, ‘Those were the best 'worst' sounds that I have ever heard.’ She was thrilled to see her daughter participating and performing in her first instrumental concert and couldn't wait until the Spring performance.”

Berry said he spoke to as many parents as he could and heard nothing but positive comments. “I am very proud of our elementary instrumental music teachers for crafting this presentation that brought lots of parents into our schools,” Berry said. He noted that one mother said she  "never saw her daughter smile so big" after she played her song on the clarinet.

Manchester Public Schools 45 North School St, Manchester, CT 06042

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