KeyNote – enriching over 21,000 lives through music education
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s Education and Outreach programs bring music to the audience of the future through music education and community involvement. Classical music is used as a vehicle for teaching respect and confidence, which in turn enriches the cultural life of Israel. KeyNote has a diverse reach, bringing programming to Jewish, Arab-Israeli, immigrant, religious and secular schools, from kindergartens to high schools, throughout Israel. Utilizing music as the common denominator, these programs encourage a shared passion for culture that has infinite possibilities for the next generation.
In 2000, the Israel Philharmonic founded the KeyNote Program. At the time, the goals were fairly simple – solve the problem of a shrinking audience for classical music by entering new markets and giving back to the community. However, it quickly became clear that this program was able to do much more, and, indeed, was filling a cultural and social vacuum, both in the school system and in Israeli society.
KeyNote has since revitalized music programming in elementary and high schools, created a new status for music teachers among their students on the broad shoulders of the Philharmonic, commissioned the first completely interactive piece of music with 4,000 children participating alongside the orchestra, and created a yearly curriculum of masterpieces to be learned and appreciated. Each year, over 21,000 children, students, and adults take part in a diverse collection of activities and get acquainted with classical music through personal encounters with IPO musicians and the orchestra’s concerts in venues across Israel.
KeyNote contributes to the community and improves the social climate in Israel using music education as a tool to develop listening skills, tolerance and mutual respect. The program serves all of Israel’s citizens: Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and others, reaching out to communities that previously had no exposure to the IPO. By giving children from a diverse range of backgrounds exposure to one another and by lending them the tools to communicate and express themselves through music, KeyNote provides a common language to unite, connect, and strengthen the Israeli people.
In May 2017, the IPO hosted its first ever International Education Conference, “Music Education in the Community: Traditions, Challenges and Innovations,” inviting scholars and educators from across the globe, representing 17 countries in total, to Tel Aviv to share insight in the field and lead a number of workshops. Performances included Shesh Besh, the IPO’s Israeli-Arab ensemble and young performers in the IPO’s Sulamot: Music for Social Change program.
After years of wonderful results and international impact, the IPO’s Sulamot: Music for Social Change is now an independent organization.
• Elementary School Program
Over a three-year period, fourth, fifth, and sixth graders attend six IPO concerts and have meaningful interactions with the Orchestra. Each semester students learn several compositions and after studying the repertoire with their music teacher, an ensemble of IPO players arrives at the classroom along with a moderator, to play arrangements of the orchestral pieces. Through these sessions the children are able to relate to the musicians as individuals and experience the music in a deeper way.
• High School Program
Over the course of a year students participate in three musical education sessions, both with instructors from the School of Music Levinsky College of Education and with an ensemble from the IPO. This firsthand experience is followed up with a special concert played by the Orchestra, allowing students to understand and appreciate the classical concert experience.
• Teachers’ Lounge
This program introduces educators to the world of classical music, strengthening their personal connection to the Orchestra and allowing them to become a resource for their students. Teachers are invited to a pre-concert lecture and meeting with a member of the IPO which is then followed by an evening concert at the Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv.
This Arab-Jewish Ensemble brings together three musicians of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with four of the finest musicians from the Arab community in northern Israel. Shesh-Besh regularly takes part in educational activities in Arab and Jewish schools and communities as well as performing concerts in Israel and abroad.
• Family Concert Series
Through a five-concert afternoon series, children and their families are educated and exposed to diverse forms of classical music. Each performance includes a pre-concert lecture that provides background and context on the program, allowing for a more rewarding and engaged experience.
• Instrument Day
This initiative allows music students the chance to interact with orchestra members who encourage them to continue practicing and playing. Each year special events are held that focus on a specific instrument and include workshops as well as dedicated concerts that help inspire the next generation of musicians.
• A Stage for Young Talent
Youth orchestras and ensembles are given the opportunity to perform in front of IPO members through this program. Additionally, young up-and-coming soloists performing with the Orchestra are introduced to these youth groups and play dedicated concerts for them.
• Kindergarten Program
IPO musicians visit kindergarten classrooms and lead interactive lessons with the children. The young students then are invited to dress rehearsals at the Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv with their parents, creating a shared family experience.
• Musical Story-Time
During forty afternoon “Story Hours” throughout the year, actors from Israel’s National Theater collaborate with musicians from the IPO to present diverse musical programs to very young audiences.
• KeyNote for Beginners
First, second and third graders study ten short musical pieces each semester of the school year which are then brought to life by visits from an IPO ensemble. The musicians not only perform the works, but demonstrate the instruments and provide the children with a personal introduction to the Orchestra.
Thank you for the beautiful concert, I especially liked the sound of the violins. Thank you for opening the world of classical music to me and leading me to an enchanted world. The concert opened my mind and gave me a feeling of relaxation. I can’t wait for the next concert!
– Omri, 4th grade student, Le’Teva school, Tel-Aviv
I would like to thank you for the extraordinary experience our 10th and 11th grade students received at the Israel Philharmonic KeyNote concert. The fact that the players made time to come to the classrooms conveyed an attitude of respect and seriousness to both the students and music. The concert program was extremely varied, and managed to find its way to the young generations, to whom classical music is foreign. The positive experience will help leave the ‘door’ open to continued study and investigation.
The school teachers who claimed adamantly that there is no chance that the students will connect with an IPO concert were proved wrong. Bravo!
– Nurit Nidam, Social Education Coordinator, Ironi He High School, Tel Aviv
I have been a member of the IPO for 36 years and have participated in KeyNote’s development from the beginning. Today, it’s difficult to imagine the Philharmonic before Keynote. I see excitement and joy in every child as he enters the Charles Bronfman Auditorium. Performing in the schools, seeing their eyes riveted on the instruments, hearing them participate with all their heart has brought new life into the orchestra and for us, and renewed our faith in classical music’s power.