Outside the Ivory Tower
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KIDS HAVE NO OTHER OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN MUSIC."
SQUEAL. Trumpets burp and wail. It might be grating to some,
but it's all sweet music to the ears of these young students at
Bursch Elementary School in Compton as they embark upon a new year
in "the band," as they call UCLA's Music Outreach Program.
Friday, Bursch second-through-fifth-graders in the program stay
after school for lessons from students in UCLA's Department of Music.
The excitement is evident on the faces of the kids.
love it!" says 10-year-old Sandra Ramirez as she gently, almost
reverently, lifts a shiny black clarinet from its velvet-lined case.
I love them. I feel happy when I play. This
year I will learn violin," Ramirez says, smiling.
Music Department Chair Jon Robertson launched the program in 1994
at Washington Preparatory High School in East Los Angeles. Now in
its sixth year, it continues at Washington Prep as well as at Bursch,
Roosevelt High School in East L.A., Bret Harte Middle School in
South Central L.A. and the Boys and Girls Club of Hollywood.
many of the children, this program is the only music exposure they
receive in school.
are their music program," says Annissa Lui, outreach director
for the Department of Music. "There's no way these kids could
afford private instruction or the instruments."