By Gina Martinez
Students at Flushing’s PS/MS 200 will now have access to music lessons, thanks to Councilman Rory I. Lancman (D-Hillcrest).
The councilman visited the Flushing elementary school, located at 70-10 164th St, Flushing, last week at its multicultural dinner to talk to students about the after-school program that will fund violin lessons for 20 fourth-graders this school year.
Lancman allocated $20,000 in Cultural After-School Adventures grant funding in the 2017 budget to allow the students to take lessons twice a week for six months. The students began their violin lessons in January from Midori & Friends, an organization that provides music education to children in New York City schools. In June, when the program ends, the fourth-graders will hold a special performance to showcase their skills.
“The activities students get involved in outside the classroom, especially in the arts, play an important role in shaping their development and growth,” Lancman said. “I am proud to provide the funding necessary for PS/MS 200 students to have the opportunity to learn how to play the violin, and look forward to hearing the students display their skills.”
Midori & Friends Signature Series Ensembles, the Toomai String Quintet, performed for PS/MS 200 students and parents at the multicultural dinner. Principal Kevin McAuliffe emphasized the importance of musical education and said he was thankful for Lancman’s grant.
“With this grant, we were able to refurbish over 20 old violins, and now the students can take them home to practice between classes each week,” McAuliffe said. “Arts education is essential for young learners, and I am confident that our students will cherish this experience. And who knows? Maybe the next Joshua Bell will come from PS/MS 200.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart