RPO Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra


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Educational Philosophy

Education Programs
of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra


A Case Statement

The Power of Music

“Music has the power of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the soul, and if it has this power to do this, it is clear that the young must be educated in it.” (Aristotle, Politics)

Throughout the history of Western Civilization music has been considered of equal importance to the other academic disciplines - reading, mathematics, and science. In today’s world the benefits gained through music education can be grouped into four categories: Success in society; Success in school and learning;  Success in developing intelligence; and Success in life. This is supported by studies confirming that music education at an early age greatly increases the likelihood that a child will grow up to seek higher education and ultimately achieve a higher level of income. 


Service to the Community

“I do not believe that any city in America possesses an orchestra supported on such a city-wide basis, and with a plan of operation [community music education] which will bring the group so intimately into contact with the city’s inhabitants.”
(George Eastman, Civic Orchestra News, September 1929)

Serving the community has been a top priority of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra since its founding in 1922. George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company and the world-renowned Eastman School of Music, believed that all Rochester residents could enrich their lives through musical learning, from preschool through college and beyond. The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s dedication to lifelong learning through the power of music continues today. There is scarcely a household in the Rochester nine-county region of western New York State that has been left untouched by the orchestra’s educational programming for the community’s children and adults. 


Support for Local School Districts by Addressing New York State Education Department Learning Standards for the Arts

“Standard 3 - Responding to and analyzing works of art
* Students will demonstrate the capacity to listen to and comment on music. . .
* Students will use concepts based on the structure of the music’s content to relate music to other broad areas of knowledge” (Standards of the New York State Education Department)

Children should have the opportunity to experience the excitement of live performances by skilled professionals. The needs of students are at the center of RPO sequential school-aged education programs, which are developed in partnership with the school leaders (teachers, administrators, parents), and other community stakeholders. The RPO stands as a major resource for area schools in addressing NY State educational standards for music. 


Community Outreach
“The mission of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is to perform and present a broad range of quality music; attract, entertain and educate audiences with superior performances; maintain and build the Orchestra’s national reputation; and enhance the reputation of the Rochester community as a place to live, work, play, visit and learn.”
(Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra,  Mission Statement)

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