Students will meet Peter and the Wolf

Adventures in Music is bringing "Peter and the Wolf" to Sequim next month.

Performances will take place at 8:30 a.m. and 9:10 a.m. at Helen Haller Elementary and 1:05 p.m. and 2 p.m. at Greywolf Elementary on Wednesday, May 6.

Adventures in Music is a collaborative project of the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra with five school districts in Clallam County: Cape Flattery, Crescent, Quillayute, Port Angeles and Sequim.

The initial development of the program stemmed from concern there was a void in cultural arts educational opportunities and music education in remote communities on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Due to budget constraints, the Neah Bay, Clallam Bay and Forks elementary schools no longer offer music as part of the curriculum. For students at those schools, Adventures in Music is their only exposure to music education.

"A week ago, I had a staff meeting and told everyone that the strength of our nation is in our creativity and ingenuity," said William Miller, Forks Elementary School principal.

"To take the arts out of our schools is to adopt the same rote teaching strategies of China, Japan and Germany. And that will weaken America."

Mark Wendeborn, business manager of the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra, agreed with Miller.

"I have a doctorate in teaching reading. We've seen that when kids are given words to sing, music contributes significantly to their reading ability," Wendeborn said.

"Music stimulates the amygdala in the brain so anything associated with the music can be better retained over time. Kids have much greater retention when learning is associated with music."

Past programs have included exploring history through the lives of some of the world's greatest composers, the science of sound, vivid master storytellers with illustrations of music, Native American heritage and a modern-day look at the culture and diversity of the Northwest, creativity with jazz and the music-art connection.

Students are given a handout with fun information about the performance, activities to do at home and information on similar events in the community suitable for families.

A complete "Peter and the Wolf" schedule is available online at

For more information, call 457-5579.

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