Since 2017, JOY has been devoted to creating access to music and strings education to youth in Yamhill County. Working with the school district, we provide In-School Violin education for Kindergarten and First Grade. In Second Grade, students continue in our After-School Orchestra with the choice of violin, viola, or cello. We plan to continue the After-School Orchestra through Fifth Grade to prepare our students to join the middle school orchestra program. As of April 2020, we serve 225 K-2 students at Edwards Elementary in Newberg, Oregon. We project to have around 260 students involved with JOY in the 2020-2021 school year serving grades K-3.
The Junior Orchestra of Yamhill County (JOY) transforms the lives of underserved youth in Yamhill County through high-caliber, intensive orchestral music instruction through emphasizing teamwork and collaboration, promoting student creativity, and engaging the community.
JOY is inspired by the El Sistema movement, which started in Venezuela in 1975, to harness the power of music for social change. JOY’s vision is to establish youth orchestra programs throughout Yamhill County.
JOY was inspired by the El Sistema movement, which started in 1975 in Venezuela by Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu. Because of Dr. Abreu’s successful work bringing music to underserved communities, El Sistema-inspired programs now operate in many countries around the world, including the United States. JOY is a member of El Sistema USA and is one of two El Sistema inspired programs that operates in the state of Oregon. For more information on El Sistema, follow the links below:
“Playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout… playing an instrument engages practically every area of the brain at once. As in any other workout, disciplined, structured practice in playing music strengthens those brain functions, alllowing us to apply that strength to other activities.” (from Laura I. Saunder’s “Your Brain on Music: The Cognitive Effects of Music Education on the Brain”)
Music education is important for all people because it actively uses many parts of the brain at once. In engaging the many parts of our brains, we strengthen other skills such as focus, analysis, decision-making, planning, and attention to detail. In addition, participation in music groups oriented towards excellence also strengthens community and cultivates social responsibility. The cognitive and social benefits brought together lead to improving student outcomes in school attendance and academic performance.
“In its essence, the orchestra is much more than artistic structures. They are examples and schools of social life, because to sing and play together means to intimately coexist toward perfection and excellence, following a strict discipline of organization and coordination in order to seek the harmonic interdependence of voices and instruments. That’s how they build a spirit of solidarity and fraternity among them, develop their self-esteem and foster the ethical and aesthetical values related to music in all its senses. This is why music is important in the awakening of sensibility, in the forging of values and in the training of youngsters to teach other kids.” -Jose Antonio Abreu, founder of El Sistema in Venezuela
“From the minute a child’s taught how to play an instrument, he’s no longer poor. He becomes a child in progress headed for a professional level, who’ll later become a full citizen.” -JAA
“I believe that to confront such a crisis [of spirituality], only art and religion can give proper answers to humanity, to mankind’s deepest aspirations, and to the historic demands of our times. Education– the synthesis of wisdom and knowledge– is the means to strive for a more perfect, more aware, more noble and more just society.” -JAA