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Music for All Learners at JQOP

Updated: Jan 15

For the past two years, Teaching Artist from the Josiah Quincy Orchestra Program (JQOP) have been breaking down barriers (both physical and mental) and building common ground for all students to connect through music. Thanks to the support from the Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion Fund through EdVestors, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Liberty Mutual Foundation, and the Ramlose Foundation, students with special needs at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School are able to received tailored music instruction throughout the school year, led by JQOP Teaching Artist, Tahlia Cott.

Tahlia Cott (right), JQOP Teaching Artist, leading general music classes
"Tahlia is a dream. She’s so thoughtful about how she communicates with students and so calm in redirecting any off task behaviors. She scaffolds students’ learning so they’re constantly engaged in new songs, games, instruments, and now technology. I learn so much from her!"

- JQES Special Needs Teacher


Throughout the school year, students in our special needs Beethoven Ensemble have the opportunity to showcase their learning through performances at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School annual Winter Concerts and spring Diversity Show. These performances during the school day help to build community through the arts and music and allow for all students in the JQES community to celebrate one another.

In an effort to continue to make music creation and performance accessible to all, this year JQOP introduced music instruction using music apps on iPads. Our Executive Director, Christopher Schroeder, and Beethoven Ensemble Director, Tahlia Cott, attended professional development workshops on music technology and inclusion provide in partnership through Boston Public Schools and Berklee College of Music. In addition, they met with special education faculty from Berklee's Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs to advise on the best technology and apps to invest in. Thanks to an additional grant from the Ramlose Foundation, we were able to purchase the technology to begin this work with our Beethoven Ensemble.

The end result was a series music composition classes with students from our Beethoven Ensemble using 'found sounds' that they sampled and created short musical pieces.


Thanks to the support from BPS Arts, EdVestors, DOE, Liberty Mutual Foundation, and the Ramlose Foundation, the Josiah Quincy Orchestra program continues to ensure that all children can learn to express themselves through music more deeply and receive the many cognitive and social benefits that weekly music-making provides.


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