“Our hope is that, ultimately, some of the students coming out of this program will continue their studies in music at AUC, some, perhaps, as majors in music performance or music technology,” said John Baboukis, assistant professor and director of the music program in the Department of Performing and Visual Arts, who led the effort to create the program.
The program offers instruction for youth in voice, piano, classical guitar, rock guitar and violin, as well as woodwinds and brass. Students who play other instruments are also offered private instruction. The program distinguishes itself from private music lessons, as it includes an academic music component, solfège, or learning to read music and understanding basic music theory. Students will also have the opportunity to perform what they have learned for their teachers, parents and community members near the end of the semester.
Jana Amin, 8, is one of the students studying the harp as part of the new program. Her mother, Rana El Kaliouby ’98, ’00, spoke about the benefits of the program for her daughter. “The program is an opportunity to learn music among her peers in a fun set up, to meet older students studying music who act as role models, and to learn the basics in the music theory classes and with the best musicians in Egypt.”
El Kaliouby has also seen an improvement in her daughter’s experience with the harp. “Jana had to perform in front of a panel of renowned musicians, so she felt like this was a big deal and it got her really excited about the whole program,” said El Kaliouby. “She also loved being a part of a group of other children in music theory. I could see that her motivation for learning the theory and practicing her harp markedly increased.”
Baboukis was inspired to create the music program by Tamer Fahmy, AUC saxophone instructor and director of the Music Program for Youth, who dreamed of opening a music school for children that offered private lessons and solfège. “It occurred to me that a program of instruction of this kind could be housed in the School of Continuing Education, if they were receptive to the idea,” Baboukis noted.
The program consists of three terms of study, each 12 weeks long. The pilot semester, which began in January and will end in April, will be followed by a session beginning in April and another beginning in September.
to view a slideshow of the Music Program for Youth.