before summer school started.
"They all feel like they're accomplishing something," said New, John
Muir Middle School's music director. "Giving a new music student a good
start at learning their instrument is essential."
Wednesday's performance was an eclectic mixture of Tchaikovsky and
Beethoven interpretations and renditions of popular songs, from the Beach
Boys and the Beatles.
Arineh Sarkissian was intimidated by learning to play the violin in
New's summer class, because everyone told her it would be hard to learn.
"If you try, you can succeed," said 16-year-old Arineh, a senior at
John Burroughs High School. "Now, I really like the sound of the
Justin Lee performed double duty in New's class, learning to play
violin and percussion in the six-week period.
"I was nervous at first about performing, but once I got it, it was
fun," said 15-year-old Justin, a sophomore at Burbank High School. "It
can help with math, too, because you have to count beats and understand
New told students, faculty and parents who attended the performance
that keeping students involved with music is crucial to learning.
"We need to get music programs going in our schools again," New said.
"We have the need and desire to bring it back."