Vail Valley Foundation seeks volunteers for First Notes music program at Avon Elementary School

By Real Vail
March 14, 2011

Just when you thought your time in band class was only going to be a distant memory, the Vail Valley Foundation has come up with a way for all of that musical prowess to benefit the community.

The Foundation is seeking volunteers to assist with the nonprofit organization's First Notes music program at Avon Elementary School. Based on the internationally renowned El Sistema model created in Argentina, First Notes is an after school music-based program that introduces elementary school students to the world of instrumental music and live performance by putting instruments into their hands.

“First Notes is an incredibly rewarding program,” explained Jean McSpadden, Director of Education for the Vail Valley Foundation. “Research indicates that early access to music instruction enhances memory, math ability, reading skills, vocabulary and spatial temporal skills, while also greatly improving academic performance.”

The program, introduced in the fall of 2009, currently serves 100 students at Avon Elementary, with a goal of reaching all first through fifth graders over the course of the next three years. In addition to the instrumental component, the Half Notes choir was added to the program in 2010.

Those interested in volunteering to assist with First Notes and Half Notes need to have experience with music or playing a musical instrument. While First Notes focuses on orchestral instruments, volunteers with previous experience playing any musical instrument are valued.

Potential volunteers are required to be able to dedicated 2-4 hours of their time per week during the school year, with times dependent on work or other volunteer schedules.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help with First Notes should contact Lindsey Myers at the Vail Valley Foundation at (970) 748-5963 or

First Notes and Half Notes are projects of the Vail Valley Foundation's full slate of valley-wide education initiatives. For information on all of the Foundation's education programs and projects, visit

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