OEF grant for new digital piano is sweet music for Elk Ridge School
Students and staff at Elk Ridge School had a special reason to celebrate at their twice-monthly Friday morning sing-along on February 10, as music teacher Julie Farber unveiled the school’s new digital piano, made possible by a gift from the Oxford Educational Foundation.
Entering its ninth year, the sing-along is a time when Elk Ridge’s 450 first and second graders and 61 staff members share a musical experience that supports learning and fosters school unity. The curriculum for the sing along is the standards-based “Get America Singing Again” project of the Music Educators National Conference, which is designed to establish an anthology of songs that everyone can sing such as “She’ll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain” and “God Bless America,” and to encourage large-group, social singing that gives students and staff the opportunity to be involved in active music making.
“For each sing-along over the past eight years, our full-sized acoustic piano had to be moved from the music room into the all purpose room,” Mrs. Farber noted. “This would cause the piano to go badly out of tune and the wear and tear was beginning to take its toll.”
Mrs. Farber believed the solution to the problem was a portable digital piano, so she decided to apply for a professional grant from the Oxford Educational Foundation to fund such a purchase, even though she was aware the amount she requested exceeded the OEF’s funding limit. “I asked that the grant committee consider the number of children and adults benefitting from the sing-along program,” she said.
The OEF did not hesitate to approve Mrs. Farber’s application along with a $1,650 award. Shortly after classes resumed after winter break, a brand spanking new Yamaha Arius YDP-181 digital piano and bench were delivered to Elk Ridge, providing Mrs. Farber with a veritable orchestra at her fingertips.
“I am just beginning to figure out how much this piano can do,” said Mrs. Farber with a smile. “The entire school is extremely grateful to the OEF for this funding and for demonstrating such a great commitment to music education in Oxford.”