New music programs thrive at Quest
A few mornings each week, music is made at Quest Elementary School in Viera before the sun even comes up.
Three extracurricular music programs at Quest give more than 100 students the opportunity to hone their ability to read music, perform and socialize with other young musicians.
“Students learn so much more than how to read music,” said Quest music teacher Laurie Foote. “They learn self-confidence and teamwork too.”
The chorus program has 40 students in third to sixth grade and there are 45 students each in separate band and strings groups for fourth to sixth graders. Some of the students overlap between the groups.
Patricia Zocchi is in sixth grade and she participates in the strings and band programs at Quest. She plays the cello in strings and the clarinet in band.
“I like that I’m learning to play more than one instrument,” said 12-year-old Zocchi. “It is actually a lot of fun coming in before school to practice.”
Fellow cello player Bryce Doby also enjoys the early morning music sessions before his other fifth-grade studies.
“I love classical music,” said 10-year-old Doby. “The cello just has such a super mellow sound too. That’s why I love it.”
Viera High School orchestra director Jameson Tucker often visits strings rehearsals at Quest and other area elementary schools. He says that programs like the one at Quest really make a difference in the level of talent he sees when kids arrive in his classroom.
“These programs are so foundational and so important to music programs throughout school careers,” Tucker said. “Most of these kids have never had formal lessons. They learn here at our elementary schools.”
The strings and chorus programs have been in place since Quest opened 10 years ago, but the band program is only in its second year.
“Our pilot program for band last year was so successful that we decided to expand it this year to include both beginning and intermediate students,” said Foote. “These students really work hard at this age, and truly love music.”
All three music programs have upcoming concerts to showcase what they have learned. The strings and band programs will perform in a combined instrumental winter concert at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. The chorus will perform the musical “The Big Chill” at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12.