Outreach: Saint Peter's Music Academy
The St. Peter’s Music Academy is a group of children and teachers from throughout greater Savannah that meets on Wednesday afternoons to make music. The Academy students don’t just “sing, dance and play piano,” they are challenged to listen, comprehend, remember, solve problems, react quickly, perform multiple tasks simultaneously and to improvise their own music and dance. Through practice and hard work children are learning the satisfying rewards of working together and of sharing God’s beautiful gift of music.
The idea of the Music Academy began when St. Peter’s Episcopal Church’s music committee decided to develop something beyond the average, traditional children’s choir. They wanted to create a music program that would have a significant, long-term effect on the lives of young people who signed up. The committee not only made a commitment to provide the means for students to build a foundation for life-long creativity, expression and musical understanding they also pledged to keep the program affordable and to offer tuition assistance when needed.
The Music Academy, after much planning and with financial support from the church, opened its doors in June of 2015, welcoming 37 children to a week-long summer camp which served as a pilot for the year-round program. Three years later, students continue to gather for 2 hours a week and spend 40 minutes in each of three classes; piano, vocal instruction and rhythmic movement/dance. The classes follow the guidelines of Voice For Life, a plan developed by the Royal School of Church Music of which the Music Academy is an affiliate.
Since the first summer camp, the students have performed piano works, dance routines and have sung many times for church services and Christmas programs at St. Peter’s Church. They have shown admirable progress in each of the three areas of study and 18 students have earned the first and second level awards of the RSCM.