Launched in 2017, the Partner Schools program gives elementary school students an opportunity to learn about the orchestra and receive visits by DSO Teaching Artists  in advance of attending an ECS performance. Curriculum is based on major orchestral works to teach students, teachers, and families how to actively listen, interpret, and creatively incorporate musical ideas in everyday activities.

Partner Schools 2019-2020
Alcott Elementary School, Pontiac
Blackwell Institute, DPSCD
Foreign Language Immersion & Cultural Studies, DPSCD 
GoLightly Education Center, DPSCD
Gompers Elementary-Middle School, DPSCD
Munger Elementary-Middle School, DPSCD
Spain Elementary-Middle School, DPSCD

Sarah F. Boyd, Lead Teaching Artist
Sarah Boyd is a Michigan certified K-12 Music Educator and certified Music Together teacher, and she has completed certification in Early Childhood Music Development through the Gordon Institute of Music Learning. She earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Grove City College and has completed graduate courses in music education at Eastern Michigan University. She established and directs Hummingbirds Music Together, a Music Together center with locations around Metro Detroit that has served over 500 families. Sarah maintains a private piano studio and uses an audiation-based approach focused on the Music Moves for Piano curriculum.

Esther Chung, Teaching Artist
Originally from Fullerton, California, Esther Chung received her Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance from Duquesne University, where she studied with Damian Bursill-Hall and Jennifer Conner of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. In Pittsburgh, she was a winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Young Artist Competition and has performed recitals at Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Point Park University. Chung later attended Temple University, where she studied with David Cramer of The Philadelphia Orchestra. While in Philadelphia, Esther was an active flute instructor and performer. She was a teaching artist at Tune Up Philly, an El Sistema program serving Philadelphia schools. She was also a member of the Connecticut and Delaware Army National Guard Bands. Esther currently resides in Farmington Hills, MI, with two cats and her husband Caleb, and is a member of the Michigan Army National Guard Band.

PNC Grow Up Great
In partnership with PNC Foundation and DPSCD, the DSO’s Grow Up Great program seeks to expand early childhood music education throughout the city of Detroit by offering interactive school visits with DSO musicians led by a DSO Teaching Artist. Through this program, students learn about musical concepts and genres at an early stage of development, laying the groundwork not only for music education opportunities later in life but also long-term academic and social success.

PNC Grow Up Great Schools 2019-2020
Bennett Elementary School
Blackwell Institute
Burton International
Carver S.T.E.M. Academy
Duke Ellington @ Beckham Academy
Emerson Elementary/Middle School
Fisher Magnet Lower Academy
Fleming Early Learning Center
Foreign Language Immersion and Cultural Studies School
GoLightly Education Center
Maybury Elementary School
Munger Elementary School
Priest Elementary/Middle School
Roberto Clemente Elementary School
Schulze Elementary/Middle School

With support from the Paul M. Angell Foundation, the DSO presents three educational performances annually at schools in Metro Detroit.

In-school performances reach approximately 1,500 students every year and connect the classroom experience to the world-class music-making of the DSO. In addition to the in-school performance, all participating students receive an opportunity to attend an Educational Concert Series performance at Orchestra Hall (at no cost to the school) as well as a visit from a DSO musician.

Launched in 2017, the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation Allegro Ensemble joins the DSO’s many CYE groups as an in-school, tuition-free option for students at Ellington Conservatory of Music & Art at Beckham Academy, a DPSCD school on Detroit’s east side.

The Dresner Foundation Allegro Ensemble is an entry-level violin group that provides training, instruments, and materials to students free of charge. Classes are taught by CYE instructors Leslie DeShazor and Ashley Nelson both during and after the students’ school day, in collaboration with Ellington Conservatory teacher Sean Patton. Prior experience is not needed to join the group.

Dresner Foundation Allegro Ensemble students are invited to continue their studies with other CYE groups tuition-free and using the same instruments provided.

To increase access to instrumental performance instruction for students in Detroit who would not otherwise have a pathway to pursue music education, the DSO has implemented a recruitment effort for the Dresner Foundation Allegro Ensemble and hosts auditions at local schools to attract a broader range of participants.

The DSO partnered with the Detroit Pistons in 2018 to create the Detroit Pistons Bucket Band: a new, tuition-free addition to the DSO’s Civic Youth Ensembles (CYE). Based at neighboring Spain Elementary-Middle School, this partnership is an expansion of the school-based ensembles the DSO inaugurated with the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation in 2017.

The Detroit Pistons Bucket Band is a percussion ensemble that teaches students percussion techniques and musical principles in a fun and creative way. Led by CYE instructor Darell Campbell, students also get to interact with Pistons representatives and players and DSO musicians. Students have the chance to perform at a variety of different venues, including at Orchestra Hall and during Pistons games at Little Caesars Arena.

Along with the Dresner Foundation Allegro Ensemble, the Detroit Pistons Bucket Band creates a pathway for Detroit students to pursue music education further by participating tuition-free in other CYE ensembles during and after their time in the Bucket Band.