Regina Symphony Orchestra’s “Link Up! The Orchestra Moves”

Tanya Derksen, Regina Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Director shared with us about RSO’s inspiring program: ‘Link Up! The Orchestra Moves’ — a shining example of substantial student engagement in terms of the numbers of students meaninfully engaged as well as the scale of the final concert event.

March 10, 2017: RSO’s ‘Link Up! The Orchestra Moves’

Link Up! – The Orchestra Moves engages 2500 Grade 3-6 students from a diverse range of 41 schools in 4 school divisions across Southern Saskatchewan. The program is an integrated music experience for Grades 3-6 students in Regina and southern Saskatchewan. Students have the opportunity for hands-on learning in their music classes culminating in an interactive concert at The Conexus Arts Centre with the RSO. Now in its second year, the program has increased from 1,500 to 2,500 students.

Link Up! is exciting and engaging:

“It was a wonderful event and you could tell from the buzz in the room that the students were so excited to be part of it. I was amazed at their beautiful singing and playing. The symphony did an excellent job engaging the students while teaching them about music. Bravo to all involved. I hope that this will continue next year and I will certainly work to support my teachers as this program moves forward.” – Literacy Coordinator/Arts Education Support for Regina Public School Division

“What a FANTASTIC IDEA, and then a wonderful execution on the symphony’s part!” – Arts Education Specialist at Ecole Elsie Mironuck Community School

Using Link Up in classrooms helps address the need for high-quality music education by providing a complete curriculum for teachers of all levels of musical experience. Students are introduced to the live orchestra – in many cases for the first time in their lives – and foster music skills. RSO musicians also benefit: connecting with students and music educators and hopefully fostering a lifetime love of the orchestra.

Teachers noted their students’ excitement about the concert as well as the pride in the musical skills they were developing. Such skills will be a head-start for band classes that start in grade 6.

RSO worked with Saskatchewan arts education consultants to create a direct connection between the Link Up curriculum and outcomes and the Saskatchewan Arts Education Curriculum, therefore fulfilling provincial objectives for arts education for the teachers and students in Saskatchewan.

RSO’s Link Up is made possible via collaboration with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI).