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'The power of music' - Generous donation is breaking down barriers to music in NE Ohio

Cleveland Orchestra celebrates 100 years
Posted at 3:45 PM, Aug 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-23 19:26:17-04

CLEVELAND — A donation this week by the owners of the Browns is helping to break down the barriers that keep children from experiencing chords and harmonies and all the benefits they bring. We’re getting our first look at how this major donation will help bring the power of music to more students across Northeast Ohio.

The Cleveland Orchestra is strengthening its outreach with a $1 million boost from Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam.

"I think she has been inspired by what we do with our education programs," Andre Gremillet the President and CEO of the Cleveland Orchestra.

The goal of each program is to give children in Northeast Ohio access to music and get more of them to play an instrument.

"Having kids of different backgrounds, different circles making music together, experiencing the orchestra together — that's the power of music," said Gremillet.

Each year, the orchestra's efforts reach 100,000 students, some of them in buildings that begin each day listening to classical music.

"That's been a real success with teachers and principals all over this city in terms of what it does to put children and students in a great mindset before they start the day," said Gremillet.

Musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra also visit schools to work with students learning instruments.

These opportunities not only give children a creative outlet, they can help them excel in other aspects of their life.

"A lot of it comes from habits and developing good habits as you practice and play instruments and also read music. There are several studies out there that contribute you know playing an instrument and getting involved in playing music and becoming a better student just academically. But also becoming more socially aware of yourself as you have to you know work with others in an ensemble," said Adam Sheldon, Baldwin Wallace Director of the Community Arts School.

Over the decades, these symphonic music programs have reached more than 4-million children.

With this major influx of cash, that number will continue to grow.

"Every kid in this city should have access to music," said Gremillet.

Gremillet said he expects the impact of this donation will be felt starting this school year.

In addition to the orchestra, The Haslams are handing out another $3.5 million to support music programs at Playhouse Square and the Rock Hall.