29 Feb A Music Class to Remember
Najib Wong is the manager of the Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth (PMAY) Artists’ Initiative. He recently visited Hope as a special guest of our music teacher, Anna Yang. Mr. Wong, a featured artist for the eighth-grade music class, received his degree in Trumpet Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music and his master’s and doctorate degrees from Temple University.
The class began with both a musical and verbal welcome fro m Hope students. Mr. Wong then explained the construction and design of the trumpet. He spoke about his youth and how he became involved with music. The students and some adults in the building – who just couldn’t stay away from this opportunity – were treated to a wonderful variety of trumpet solos. Students listened to Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, a special romantic offering for Valentine’s Day, the Star Wars Theme, The William Tell Overture, and music from Jurassic Park. That was before the students requested songs from Frozen, which Mr. Wong could accommodate thanks to a Smart Board in the music room.
After the class was finished, the students thanked Mr. Wong with a huge round of applause. Several mentioned that they “really liked it,” “it was really interesting,” “it was very different,” and “I hope we can do something like this again.” One student who plays the violin, Andreal, said “I really learned a lot. I did not know that trumpets came in different sizes and I had never heard about a music conservatory school. Also, I didn’t know that the note was completely controlled by breath. It is crazy how much air is needed to play! I hope I can hear him play again one day.” The class was unanimous in wanting to hear him play again. When asked why they like music, a few students responded with “music is a way to express yourself, it is a way to relax.”
Inspired by the day and the performance, many members of Hope’s 8th grade class declared that they plan on continuing with music even after they graduate. “I want to play the flute,” “I want to learn the viola” “I want to stick with violin,” and for some, “I want to join the chorus and sing.” Hope thanks Mr. Wong for showing the students one of the many ways in which music can shape lives.