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The San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory is committed to making music education accessible and affordable for all students. We support many school programs across San Diego County to help in their development or expansion of in-school music.

Chula Vista Elementary School District

SDYS has provided in-school 3rd grade and kindergarten pilot programs at 14 schools in Chula Vista since 2012. These pilots have led to 14 schools hiring full-time music teachers. Six SDYS Teaching Artists now fill these certified teaching positions and SDYS’ former Education and Community Program Manager Lauren Shelton serves as CVESD’s first district level Visual and Performing Arts staff person in over 20 years.

SDYS also loans out instruments directly to Chula Vista schools in order for them to be used by the in-school music teachers. Orff instruments, recorders, percussion instruments, African drums, and keyboard labs are all examples of SDYS-owned instruments that are being played by Chula Vista students.

School District Visual and Performing Arts Strategic Planning

SDYS has participated in the creation of school district Visual and Performing Arts Strategic Plans in Chula Vista and San Marcos. These plans guide the multi-year expansion of arts education district wide to ensure equitable access for all children. SDYS works closely with Arts Empower San Diego to rally every school district in San Diego County to complete a VAPA Strategic Plan.

City Heights Schools

SDYS works specifically with in-school music teachers in the City Heights neighborhood to support excellent learning opportunities for their students. Through a long and rich partnership with Price Philanthropies, the City Heights in-school music cluster has received financial and educational support for their music programs. Funds from Price Philanthropies are used for a variety of things such as the repair or purchase of new instruments, to support instrumental or vocal Teaching Artists to work directly with students, and for transportation for music groups to attend special music festivals, events, and competitions. Music teachers from City Heights schools meet on a quarterly basis with VAPA leadership, Price Philanthropies staff, and SDYS staff for purposeful planning and communication to further music education in the neighborhood.

The Youth Symphony manages the grant between Price Philanthropies and the City Heights schools. In addition, SDYS facilitates the quarterly meetings with music teachers, makes instrument loans to individual schools, and provides concert production assistance.

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San Diego Youth Symphony