Philadelphia Elementary Schools Buzzing in Largest WMG USA Partnership
Nearly 150 elementary schools in the School District of Philadelphia will be pioneering pBuzz in classrooms, enabling thousands of Philadelphia children to explore the benefits of playing instruments as part of WMG’s largest partnership in the US.
Frank Machos, Executive Director of the Office of The Arts & Academic Enrichment in Philadelphia, recently announced a bid to provide more opportunities for students to participate in music and the arts in Philadelphia elementary schools.
To do this, WMG is partnering with the Office of Arts & Academic Enrichment to implement a scheme similar to our work in UK schools.
“This illustrates our commitment to ensure access and equity to music education for all students. These plastic instruments – colourful, light, fun to play, and durable – have proved a big hit amongst our teachers and students and have already encouraged many more students to pick up a musical instrument for the first time – and play,” said Frank Machos.
Initially more than 1000 plnstruments – including 800 pBuzz – will form the basis of the partnership. In August, more than 400 music and art teachers from Philadelphia schools played pBuzz for the first time at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The teachers were led by the WMG team who made a special visit from the UK to Philadelphia for the occasion.
Steven Greenall, WMG CEO, said the partnership was an exciting opportunity to introduce music to more children.
“Our work in schools and with teachers worldwide – sometimes in challenging environments where the children have never had the opportunity to pick up and play an instrument and there is a high level of deprivation – has shown how music can make a huge difference,” said Steven Greenall.
“The Office of Arts & Academic Enrichment in Philadelphia is leading the way. This is not just about providing instruments. It’s a methodology of introducing music to a far wider range of children than has previously been possible. We know from our work elsewhere, especially in situations in Britain that are similar to those in Philadelphia – that children in elementary schools especially respond really positively. It’s not just about getting children to play music – it’s also encouraging them to work together in a creative and fun environment. It really can change lives.”
The instruments have been on sale in the US since 2011 with sales of more than 300,000 worldwide – many to schools and education authorities that have partnered with WMG. This, however, is the first and largest partnership to be introduced in the USA.
WMG are pleased to be able to work with a schools authority like the SDP that recognises the importance of accessible music education. Our plastic instruments enable this vision to be deliverable on a large scale, and are the best option in terms of storage, price and maintenance.