As the 2018 Camp Adventure! sessions conclude, The Foundation receives profound feedback from campers, parents, volunteers, and counselors. We would like to thank all of our sponsors and partners who helped make the sessions happen. We spotlight the Houston Symphony, through Emily Nelson, Associate Director of Edcation & Community Programming.
Why is it important for Houston Symphony to partner with literacy programs like Camp Adventure!? How does the Symphony incorporate literacy into music sessions?
The Community-Embedded Musicians use curriculum designed to forward literacy skill development through music. Songs they teach the children are designed to develop children’s attention control, phonological awareness, new vocabulary, and expressive language. Rhythm and movement activities help the children develop motor skills and ability to cross the midline, which influence brain development and literacy learning. The Community-Embedded Musicians see each K-2nd grade cabin every day. On the final day of both camps, Community-Embedded Musicians present a concert for all K-2nd grade where the children have the opportunity to sing their favorite songs from the sessions along with the ensemble.
What do you hope students will learn from their experiences with the Community-Embedded Musicians?
We hope that the children have learned skills that will help them succeed in school and in life. In addition to the literacy skills targeted through the curriculum, we believe the experience with the Community-Embedded Musicians provides the students with opportunities to develop social-emotional skills, which are also essential for success in life.
Music has a tremendous power to excite and engage. We hope that, from their experiences with the Community-Embedded Musicians, the children will be inspired to read, to learn, and maybe even play an instrument in their school music programs.
What is your favorite Houston Symphony memory of or activity with the campers?
It has been a joy to watch the final concerts and see 100% of the students fully engaged and singing their new favorite song, “She Sells Sea Shells”! The children mastered the lyrics and hand motions and could even sing the song in rounds.
Watching the counselors actively participate has been special as well, because the counselors are able to extend the music in their cabins all through the day during the camp, not just in our sessions. I loved seeing one counselor lead the students in choruses of the Symphony songs before the final concert, because it was a testament that the music continued to engage the campers even after our Community-Embedded Musicians left for the day!