press release

Texaco Press Release - Texaco Foundation Convenes Tempo Institute for Music Educators

Practitioners Meet to Share Best Practices and Improve Childhood Music Education


Rochester, N.Y. October 5 - Representatives from ten model early childhood music education initiatives across the United States gathered at the Eastman School of Music in September to discuss and share innovative methods for early childhood music instruction. The participants included teachers, administrators, and coordinators from grant sites of the Texaco-Eastman School of Music Partnership Opportunities (TEMPO) initiative, a grant program created in 1998 by the Texaco Foundation in collaboration with the Eastman School of Music.

Grant recipients met to learn from the successes of the unique partnerships represented at the TEMPO Institute and to address the challenges of early childhood music education. Conference participants stressed the importance of building a classroom environment where music is integrated into the learning process. By using music as a tool, students have access to music education and engage in multi-sensory learning that contributes to their over-all cognitive development. Noting the ongoing research about music and brain activity, Institute participants emphasized that the practical teacher-designed assessment measures that they have developed in the projects are confirming the benefits of quality music education in the early childhood classroom.

"Texaco has a special understanding of the power of music due to our decades-long affiliation with the Metropolitan Opera in New York," said Anne T. Dowling, President of the Texaco Foundation. "We believe that music and the arts are vital to a child's education and can help children grow and learn in multiple ways. Through these innovative programs, we hope to provide more of our nation's young children with access to a quality music-infused education.".

TEMPO was created to help reinstate music education in the schools. Chosen from nearly 150 applicants, TEMPO grant recipients represent model music education initiatives in ten U.S. communities: Glendale, Arizona; Aurora, Colorado; Sarasota, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; New Orleans, Louisiana; Baltimore, Maryland; Rio Rancho, New Mexico; White Plains, New York; Houston, Texas; and Midland, Texas.

Dr. Donna Brink Fox, Chair of the Music Education Department at the Eastman School of Music, said, "The support of the Texaco Foundation underscores the importance of music in early childhood education. We're so fortunate to have this corporate partner whose commitment to quality music experiences for young children is making a difference in the lives of thousands of children across the United States.".

The Texaco Foundation was established in 1979 under the sponsorship of Texaco, Inc. The Foundation supports non-profit, tax-exempt organizations both in the United States and the countries in which Texaco operates. Demonstrating a longstanding commitment to foster equal educational opportunity for all children, the Foundation has established signature grant programs that strengthen childhood education in the areas of music education and scientific discovery.

TEMPO: Texaco-Eastman Music Partnership Opportunities

Talking Drums at Indian Ridge
Cherry Creek Schools, Aurora, CO

Talking Drums at Indian Ridge is developing a hands-on integrated music and mathematics curriculum that also explores the heritage of drumming in diverse cultures.

Project Harmony
Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, Houston, TX

Project Harmony provides intensive training for music specialists working with young children and develops creative means of providing meaningful music experiences to the total child.

Building A Collaborative Approach To Music Education
Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia

The Center for Educational Partnerships is implementing a comprehensive community partnership model that demonstrates how instructional and enrichment strategies can improve student learning.

Music + Plus Program
Lamar Elementary School, Midland, Texas

Music + Plus is increasing music instruction for 540 students in grade K - 2 (by year three of funding) from one music class per week to one 30-minute class per day. The project will assess how increased music instruction impacts students' achievement.

Project IMPACT
Loyola University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

Loyola University and the New Orleans Public Schools are designing, implementing, and assessing a music-integrated curriculum using best instructional practices for 810 pre-kindergarten through kindergarten students.

Music Teacher Mentoring Program
Peabody Institute/The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

The Peabody Institute's Music Teacher Mentoring Program seeks to increase the capacity of in-school music programs by offering mentoring and training for music teachers in the Baltimore City Public School System.

Project 4R's: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Rhythm
Peoria Unified School District, Glendale, Arizona

Project 4R's supports and trains music and classroom teachers and guides parents in methods for integrating music training into core curriculum subjects for students in grades K - 2.

Mozart and Munchkins
Rio Rancho Public Schools, Rio Rancho, NM

The Mozart and Munchkins Program explores the relationship between music, learning, and behavior for 700 kindergarten children as they progress from kindergarten through second grade.

Early Childhood Music
School Board of Sarasota County, Sarasota, FL

The Early Childhood Music Project enhances the development of musical knowledge and skills and achievement in regularly assessed educational areas for all pre-kindergarten through grade two children in the district.

White Plains-Manhattanville Partnership
White Plains Public Schools, White Plains, New York

The White Plains-Manhattanville Partnership explores changes in curriculum and instructional practices for pre-k through grade 2 students linking the development of musical skills and learning in other curriculum areas. It also expands opportunities for pre-service teacher training and parental involvement.

Updated: October 2000