Musicfest Strummers, an innovative program launched by Arizona Musicfest in October 2010, is entering its fourth year at Desert Sun Academy in the Cave Creek Unified School District. Grades 3, 4 and 5 are being introduced to making music as they learn to play the baritone and soprano ukulele. When students reach the 6th Grade they move on to the guitar. Horseshoe Trails music teacher, Rob Koch, raised funds to provide guitars for his sixth grade students and with assistance from the John and Joan D’Addario Foundation, 55 baritone ukuleles were supplied to the school.
Desert Sun Academy music teacher, Cindy Puschak, is developing and teaching the program. Recently, Ms. Puschak was honored with Yale’s Distinguished Music Educator Award for her outstanding accomplishments and vision as a public school music teacher.
“Across the country, children are being introduced to the thrill of music-making via a wonderful instrument – the baritone ukulele,” explained conductor Robert Moody, Arizona Musicfest’s Artistic Director. “This great stringed instrument has become a YouTube sensation; kids love the instrument because it is cool!”
The John and Joan D’Addario Foundation provided 145 ukuleles, 50 guitars, music stands, strings, tuners and other accessories for the two schools.This is a ‘win-win’ scenario for students, educators, our community and Arizona Musicfest.
Once again, Arizona Musicfest, through the generous donation from the John and Joan D’Addario Foundation, has provided a highly motivating music opportunity for the lucky student students at Desert Sun Academy. We look forward to following these students as they experience the joy and art of music with their baritone ukuleles!
~ Dr. Debbi Burdick, Superintendent, CCUSD