The Pan American Symphony Orchestra is affiliated with Abingdon Elementary School in Arlington County, VA. For five summers, PASO musicians have volunteered their time in this summer program to teach small groups or individuals. With the help of PASO musicians, the program has expanded to include three chamber orchestras. PASO volunteers arrange a small concert at the end of each summer program to showcase the students’ achievements.
Summer Orchestra for 4th and 5th graders
PASO supports the Abingdon Summer Strings Program, an instructional music program for 4th and 5th graders that is free of charge to students. Space and instruments are provided by Abingdon, and volunteer teachers come from PASO.
Music is Part of the Abingdon Curriculum
At Abingdon Elementary School, students learn by exploring connections between the arts and other subject areas to gain greater understanding of their curriculum. Based on multiple intelligence theory, Abingdon staff developed Project G.I.F.T. (Gaining Instruction, Fostering Talents).
Through integration of the arts in the curriculum, the school emphasizes creativity and culture, resulting in improved standardized test scores and increased incentive for learning. At Abingdon, students have an enriched arts curriculum.
Most students from the PASO-Abingdon Summer Program continue into middle and high school orchestras. For instance, one of our summer alumna is the Concert Mistress of the local high school orchestra.
Through this program, approximately 25 students receive 16 hours of free instruction every summer. The classes are in the evening in order to accommodate working parents. PASO volunteers provide the students lessons as well an encouragement to develop their unique talents and launch lives as musicians.