Jordan Kitt’s Music and over 100 music retailers and manufacturers from around the country advocate for music education to Congress.

The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) D.C. Advocacy Fly-in for music education.

May 20-23, 2019

Recently, Jordan Kitt’s Music was again joined in their home town by over 100 music industry leaders, notable artists and arts education activists to advocate for equal access for all school children for music education in our schools and for full funding of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Federal education bill that became law in 2015.

Richard Riley

Chris Syllaba, Jordan Kitt’s CEO with Dick Riley, Former Education Secretary

As part of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Advocacy Fly-in, held May 20-23 in conjunction with the NAMM Foundation, the delegation of over 100 individuals met with Members of Congress and other policy stakeholders to reinforce the importance of music as part of a “well-rounded education”.

“Jordan Kitt’s Music has enjoyed a special bond with area music education efforts for more than a century, but that doesn’t guarantee its continued longevity” said Chris Syllaba, Jordan Kitt’s CEO. “Continued action is imperative to keeping the dream of music alive in schools throughout our district, and throughout the country as a whole.”

Charles HartStudents from Charles Hart Middle School participate in music guitar, ukulele and drum classes

Charles Hart Guitar

The Advocacy week began on Monday, May 20 with a day of service at Charles Hart Middle School in Washington D.C. Members of the group helped 6th, 7th and 8th grade students experience playing the guitar, ukulele and drums through various classes and a drum circle. Other members completed an inventory summary and analysis documenting all the schools band and orchestral instruments. They even made minor repairs where possible during the process!

In the evening, after a cocktail reception and dinner at the Hyatt Hotel Capitol Hill, the delegation welcomed a panel of special guests. Mary Luehrsen, NAMM Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations was host and moderator to the panel, consisting of James Mitaritonna, Manager of Music and Learning in the Office of Teaching and Learning, D.C. Public Schools; Christie-Jo Adams, K-12 Fine Arts Instructional Specialist, Richmond Virginia Public Schools; and Chiho Feindler, Senior Director of Programs and Policy, VH1 Save The Music Foundation.

 

The next day, Tuesday, May 21, delegates walked to the nearby offices of Nelson Mullins for a day of advocacy training. After opening remarks by Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO, and Robin Walenta, NAMM Chair, the group heard from special guest Michael Yaffe, Associate Dean, Yale School of Music.

Michael Yaffe

Syllaba with Michael Yaffe, Associate Dean, Yale School of Music

Yaffe spoke about Yale’s innovative “Music in Schools” initiative for the New Haven, Connecticut School district. He also introduced delegates to the “Declaration on Equity in Music for City Students”, a report on Yale’s 2017 Symposium on Music in Schools.

Other guests included piano prodigy and SlapDash Productions founder J. Dash, and CBS television drama “Madam Secretary” actor Erich Bergan.

Tuesday evening, at a seated dinner in the Nelson Mullins rotunda, Jordan Kitt’s CEO Chris Syllaba joined NAMM’s Joe Lamond and NAMM Foundation’s Mary Luehrsen in awarding the annual SupportMusic Champion Award to Congressman Robert C. Scott (D-VA). Congressman Scott currently serves as the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, who in 2015 was one of the four primary authors of ESSA.

 

JKM President Chris Syllaba with Dick Riley, Former Education Secretary (L) and Congressman Robert C. Scott, D-VA (R)

The award was presented in recognition of the Congressman’s tireless work regarding ESSA and his continued efforts in supporting music and the arts.

Wednesday, May 22, was the actual “Hill Day” with Syllaba and the more than 100 NAMM delegates meeting with Members of Congress. The message centered on NAMM’s support of the concept of a well-rounded education, including music; state and local decision-making; and full funding through the congressional appropriations process of ESSA, Title I, II and IV, Part A.

For the third year in a row, NAMM delegates also met with officials in the D.C. offices of a number of State Governor’s Offices. With ESSA pushing much of the decision-making authority to the state and local government level, these meetings were an important part of the delegates’ efforts during the Fly-In.

Pritchard

L to R: Joe Pritchard, Pritchard’s Music Gaithersburg; Tiffany Waddell, DC Office of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan; Chris Syllaba

On Wednesday evening, all the delegates and numerous special guests joined on the Nelson Mullins rooftop to celebrate the most successful Hill Day yet – over 230 congressional meetings were completed that day! This was an all-time record number of meetings in the 15-year history of the NAMM Fly-In! It was also a very special evening during which the group honored former Yankee and Latin Grammy nominated musician Bernie Williams for ten years of service to the NAMM Fly-In.

Bernie

NAMM CEO Joe Lamond (L) presents award to Bernie Williams

Over the years, Williams has been a constant and reliable advocate with a belief that all children have a right to receive music education in school. Williams currently serves on The NAMM Foundation Board of Directors, is an artist with the Kennedy Center’s Turnaround Arts program and is a frequent guest artist with musical notables around the globe.

The Fly-In concluded on Thursday, May 23 at Nelson Mullins offices with a SupportMusic Coalition national conference call where delegates de-briefed about the week’s activities and efforts. This was an opportunity for music advocates and stakeholders from around the country to listen in on the call and stay informed about NAMM’s ongoing advocacy efforts.

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 member companies located in 104 countries. NAMM events and members fund the NAMM Foundation‘s efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music and advance active participation in music making.

For more information about NAMM, please visit www.namm.org

About Jordan Kitt’s Music

Jordan Kitt’s Music is Washington D.C.’s oldest continuously operating piano retailer, offering new and used piano sales, service, rentals and lessons since 1912. A longtime partner of area institutions, universities, and music education organizations, Jordan Kitt’s Music has been a community leader in furthering music education throughout the region for more than a century. For more information about Jordan Kitt’s Music, please visit www.jordankitts.com

It’s International Teach Music Week!

Keep Music Alive is celebrating the 5th Annual “Teach Music Week” from Monday March 18th to Sunday March 24th. We are encouraging musicians and music schools everywhere to find one new student they can begin to teach by offering one free 30 minute lesson. We are also inviting all interested music students (kids and adults) to seek out a music school or musician participating in “Teach Music Week”.  We have chosen a week in March to coincide with Music in Our Schools Month ® (MiOSM) to help focus attention on the importance of including music and arts as part of our children’s education. Public and private schools can participate in Teach Music Week by asking current music students to invite their friends to music class and band/chorus rehearsals.

Celebrate by taking lessons for kids or adults of any age at Jordan Kitt’s Music School.  Find out more or enroll here!

Keep Music Alive is a national 501c3 non-profit that is on a MISSION to promote how valuable and important music is in all of our lives: academically, therapeutically or just overall making us a happier society. To help support this mission, they founded two music holidays: Kids Music Day (1st Friday in October) and Teach Music Week (3rd week in March). Each year, Keep Music Alive partners with hundreds of music school and music retail locations to celebrate by offering free music lessons and holding numerous events including open houses, student music performances, community jams, instrument donation drives, instrument petting zoos and more. For more information please visit www.KeepMusicAlive.org

Meet some of our teachers!

Jordan Kitt's Lessons

Olena Pereverten
Olena

Olena was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine. She began her piano studies at the age of three. She attended the Odessa Special Music Boarding School and received a Bachelor Diploma and a specialist Diploma in Music Teaching and Piano Concert Performance.

She has won many piano competitions including the First Prize in the Piano Competition “Blue Bird” in Simferopol, Ukraine ; the Third Prize in the International Competition in memory of Sergei Prokofiev; the Special Diploma in the International Piano Competition in the name of Emil Gilles; and the Special Prize in the International Piano Competition in the name of Vladimir Krainov.
Find out more or choose a class with Olena here!

Li-Ly Chang
Li-Ly Chang

Li-Ly Chang, is a pianist, composer, teacher, and chamber musician. She has received many grants and awards including MD State Arts Council, Jordan Kitts Music Teacher’s Enrichment grant, MD State Music Teachers Association and Montgomery County Music Teachers Association grants.

Her performances include the Dame Myra Hess Series, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Roosevelt Hall, Shriver Hall, Strathmore Center, Savannah on Stage Festival, Levine School, and New England Conservatory.
Her piano teachers include Sacha Gorodnitzki, Leon Fleisher, Sequeira Costa, Fernando Laires, Walter Hautzig, Jack Winerock and Ming Tcherepnin. Her composition teachers are Joe Nelson, John Pozdro and Henry Mitchell.

She has been invited to perform and teach at International School in Shanghai in 2017. She was a music panelist for the Maryland State Arts Council and is the Director of the International Young Artist Piano Competition, Washington DC. She is a faculty member at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD.
Find out more or choose a class with Olena here!

Nuria Planas-Vilanova
Nuria Planas-Vilanova

Núria was born in Barcelona, Spain and began learning music theory and piano at a young age. She studied both at the Conservatori Municipal Superior de Musica de Barcelona for ten years. She also studied piano in Germany with Stanislav Rosenberg for an additional four years.

Since moving to the United States she has continued her classical piano studies with renowned Russian pianist Nikita Fitenko. Núria competed in her first Washington International Piano Artists Competition in 2017, and looks forward to competing again in 2019.
Olena has performed extensively throughout the Ukraine including performances with the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra.

A hardworking mother of two, Nuria has been playing the piano for over four decades. She taught beginner and intermediate piano to children and adults for over 5 years before joining the Jordan Kitt’s team in 2019. Based on her students’ interests, she teaches classical, contemporary and modern styles of music.
Find out more or choose a class with Olena here!

Find out more about our private and group lessons for either adults or kids here!

Music, Uh, Finds a Way… Jeff Goldblum entertains on a Yamaha piano.

Jeff Goldblum has an impromptu session on a Yamaha upright piano at St. Pancras station in London, to the apparent delight of London commuters.

Jeff attests that piano abilities were the result of his childhood lessons, which likely aided him in his quest for domination not only as an idiosyncratic leading icon, but also a master of Chaos Theory.

Your children can a head start in life also, with piano lessons from Jordan Kitt’s Music here

Music education could help children improve their language skills

via ABC News

While many people often consider music a universal language, a recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study done in Beijing shows that it may help with spoken language as well.

Kindergarten students who took piano lessons showed increased capabilities to distinguish pitch and understand spoken words — and it showed up on their brain scans, according to the study’s findings.

Researchers from the International Data Group (IDG)/McGovern Institute at Beijing Normal University wanted to compare the effects of music education on reading versus standard reading training. The reading training included an interactive reading experience, in which the teacher read words aloud from enlarged texts, and the students read along with the teacher.

“If children who received music training did as well or better than children who received additional academic instruction, that could be a justification for why schools might want to continue to fund music,” Robert Desimone, Ph.D., senior author of the research article and director of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, explained.

A group of 74 Mandarin-speaking children, ages 4 to 5, were randomly assigned to three smaller groups. One group got piano training, the second group was trained in reading, and a third control group received no extra training at all. Piano training included 45-minute piano sessions three times a week.

After six months of piano lessons, researchers found that the students were better at differentiating between spoken words and vowel sounds. The group with reading training had similar results. However, the difference between these two groups came in “consonant-based word discrimination.” The piano lessons group did better; this correlated to the group’s response to differences in musical pitch, which was observed immediately after the children heard a pair of notes in a sound-proof room and were then asked to differentiate between pitches.

While the study involved a small sample size and the differences in performance between the piano lesson and reading groups weren’t found in all studied areas, the researchers say that the findings were still significant when looking at language study.

“The children didn’t differ in the more broad cognitive measures,” Desimone said, “but they did show some improvements in word discrimination, particularly for consonants. The piano group showed the best improvement there.”

Jordan Kitt’s Music goes to DC with NAMM to lobby for music education in our schools!

Jordan Kitt’s Music is proud to be a part of the 2018 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Music Education Advocacy D.C. fly-in.  Each spring, Jordan Kitt’s Music is joined in its home town by other NAMM members to serve as advocates for the right of every child to learn and grow with music by visiting with their elected representatives on Capitol Hill.

NAMM Fly-In participants receive intensive training with policy experts to learn about the policies and priorities of the current administration. With guidance from veteran delegates and seasoned professionals, NAMM members prepare research-based talking points for visits with their Members of Congress.

Tiffany Waddell, Director of Federal Relations for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (center) with Chris Syllaba, President, Jordan Kitt’s Music (right) and Joe Pritchard of Pritchard Music (left).

These visits are not just a time to make demands of our legislature, however. It is also when we encourage Senators and Representatives to celebrate the school districts and schools that receive national recognition through The NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education SupportMusic Merit Awards within their states and congressional districts.

Suzanne Bonamici,
Chris Syllaba of Jordan Kitt’s, baseball legend and musician Bernie Williams, U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici, and NAMM Chair Robyn Walenta at the Tuesday evening NAMM dinner.

The event included a Day of Service, where NAMM members commit a day getting involved in local music education, meetings on Capital Hill, and a number of NAMM hosted special events designed to maximize the impact of the event.

J. Dash Chris Syllaba
Musician, recording artist and entrepreneur J. Dash with Jordan Kitt’s CEO Chris Syllaba

For more information about NAMM or the Fly-in Event, visit www. namm.org

 

Towson University Keyboard Day

On Friday, March 16th, Towson University is proud to present Keyboard Day from 8:30am – 5:00pm
The day will include events such as:
• A Piano Masterclass with Eva Mengelkoch, Christopher Dillon, and Yoon-Wha Roh
• Organ and harpsichord workshops with Profs. Marc Bellassai
• Introduction to extended piano techniques
and much more.

for more information and to register, visit here!

Jordan Kitt’s Music helps Strathmore introduce more than 12,000 students to classical music

National Philharmonic welcomes more than 10,000 second graders to the Music Center at Strathmore during the annual Strathmore Student Concerts from now through Thursday, Nov. 16. The purpose of the program is to expose every Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) 2nd grader to a live performance of classical music.

The students learn about classical music and prepare for the concert hall experience during the month of October.

For many young people in Montgomery County, the National Philharmonic is their first exposure to classical music. The orchestra was a founding partner in the annual Strathmore Student Concerts, a hallmark education initiative that welcomes every Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) 2nd grader to the Music Center concert hall for a live performance. The National Philharmonic, Strathmore, and Montgomery County Public Schools are shaking up the annual concerts with a new conductor, new repertoire, and new vision to better serve students.

National Philharmonic Associate Conductor Victoria Gau is now at the helm. She worked closely with key partners and educators to create an experience that aligns with evolving MCPS curricular goals. Gau wanted students to leave the concerts with a better understanding of how they process music and how it can elicit specific emotional responses. The lively new format explores rhythm, dynamics, tempo, and musical texture—foundational elements of the concert experience that can make a piece feel happy or sad, serious or lighthearted, contemplative or full of unbridled excitement.

To reinforce these touchpoints, Gau selected music that bridges the classical canon and new works, demonstrating that classical music is evolving. Works by Beethoven and Brahms are paired with compositions by American composers Leonard Bernstein and Jennifer Higdon, and music by Mexican composer Arturo Marquez. Gau was also conscious to include gender and ethnic diversity to reflect demographics in the County and show that anyone can enjoy and be a part of classical music.

The concert also includes a new commission from Bethesda-based composer Charlie Barnett, Second Grade Second Line, a short participatory work that introduces different sections of the orchestra—woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings, and keyboard.

Students are engaged through call and response, clapping, and percussive music-making from the audience—National Philharmonic musicians even get in on the fun from stage.

Gau has maintained a relationship with National Philharmonic since 2005 and joined National Philharmonic’s conducting staff in 2010. Gau is in demand nationally as a youth orchestra festival conductor. She is also Artistic Director and Conductor of the Takoma Ensemble and Capital City Symphony, where she has written and performed annual family concerts for 20 seasons.

The 2nd grader student concerts represent a $185,000 investment in public education, with sponsorship provided by The Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, GEICO, and Jordan Kitt’s Music.

via Mongtomery Community Media.  Read more here…