Bravo! Vail after school piano program gains popularity across the community
VAIL — Bravo! Vail’s after school piano program, now in its sixth year, has 152 students enrolled this year. Additionally, 44 percent of students received scholarships to participate in the program at half or no cost, and 12 students are participating in the keyboard lending program.
The lending program, made possible by donations from Vail community members and Bravo! Vail supporters, provides students with a keyboard to use at home for the duration of the school year, which lets them practice and refine the skills learned in the program. The program is offered at low cost to second- through eighth-grade students at seven locations throughout Eagle and Lake counties.
Dena Soulakis, a parent of two piano program students, calls the Bravo! Vail loaner program “awesome” because it affords her sons the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument at a reasonable cost.
“With music programs affected by cost cutting in our schools, this after school program is important to me,” she said.
“Part of Bravo! Vail’s mission is to promote a life-long appreciation of the arts,” said Dina Patsiavos, Bravo! Vail’s education and community engagement coordinator. “Through this program, Bravo! Vail is instilling a love of music in children as young as 7 years old and providing them with the opportunity to experience learning in a new way.”
Caitlin Yarger, a teaching assistant at Homestake Peak School, has seen the results of the program.
“It offers students a chance to learn a new skill, interact with peers and grow in a positive way,” she said. “Each week, students are proud to show off what they learned while practicing at home.”
The program includes an end-of-year recital. Student recitals for the current program are scheduled for the last two weeks of the program, March 24 through April 2. In addition, Bravo! Vail’s Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott will give a recital for the children and their families in early March. This interactive event will allow the young pianists to witness firsthand an exciting performance of classical music in a casual atmosphere.
Information regarding enrollment for the 2015-16 after school piano program can be found by visiting bravovail.org, calling 970-827-5700 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.