As a music educator, I am always looking for opportunities for my students to interact with professional musicians, make music, or develop their own creativity. Our time spent with fivebyfive provided all three of those invaluable experiences and has served as a catalyst for many of my students to seek out new ways to improvise, listen to music, and interact with the local music community.The musicians of fivebyfive are skilled artists who know how to engage young musicians, break down barriers of uncertainty, and inspire students to try new techniques. They made my students feel comfortable immediately and inspired them to create unique and breathtaking music. Students who are typically afraid to perform in front of others were improvising and asking questions. Many of the students had never interacted with professional musicians before and were in awe of the approachability of the fivebyfive musicians as well as the insight they provided about their own musical journeys and career paths. Perhaps most impressively, the musicians of fivebyfive have maintained a relationship with our school that has lasted far beyond the confines of our workshop, ensuring a lasting bond that bridges the gap between “real” music and “school” music. I sincerely believe my students see a new role for themselves in our music community and for this I am truly grateful.
Exposing students to music they might not seek out on their own is such an important obligation to us as music teachers. fivebyfive’s performance and presentation was warm hearted and nurturing, presented by masterful artists who are also clearly committed to music education. They presented with just the right rapport, one that made students feel comfortable with exploring contemporary music performance and left them pondering the thought that they could be doing this on their own.
I was blown away by how deep and meaningful this workshop was, even for my younger musicians. It encouraged them to experiment musically without the constricts of notation. My students enjoyed themselves immensely, and have become stronger, more confident musicians because of it. Thank you fivebyfive!