With much excitement and anticipation, the Third-Grade String Program was added back to Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School this year and proved to be successful under the direction of teachers Cathy Ferraro and Courtney Kassinger.

“The Third-Grade String Program was a program that existed for many years in Harborfields and we are so happy to have it back,” said Ferraro. “It is amazing how much the students can accomplish on their instruments at such a young age. Starting in the third-grade really helps to give them that edge on their future musical endeavors, and teaches them great lessons in responsibility and perseverance along the way.”

The students were in awe when they heard how they sounded together as a full orchestra, at their first early orchestra rehearsal in May. Fifth-grade orchestra members were assigned as mentors at the rehearsals, helping the third-graders get acclimated to the rehearsal routine, and playing along to model proper orchestra rehearsal behavior and technique. The third-grade students were so excited to be given this special opportunity, and they beamed as they performed in their first concert on June 1.

This Spring, third-graders, along with fourth-grade orchestra members also had the opportunity to attend “open rehearsals,” where they could sit in on a fifth-grade orchestra rehearsal. The students were very excited to see their older peers in the rehearsal setting.  

“It is not easy being a beginner on your instrument, and the music is very basic in the first year of playing, said Ferraro. “I invited the students to this open rehearsal to give them a taste of the exciting musical experiences that they have to look forward to in their years to come in the TJL Orchestra Program.”

Ferraro asked them questions during the rehearsal to keep them engaged. She encouraged them to listen for and notice the differences between the fifth-grade orchestra concert music and techniques, and that of their own. The students enjoyed taking part in the open rehearsal. It was a great motivator for them to continue with their musical progress.