Peabody’s Heartwarming Junior Bach Program

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Photograph by Will Kirk

Kids have the craziest ideas, like playing Tchaikovsky backwards over a hip-hop beat… on a harpsichord. That’s one of the ideas that’s come out of the Peabody Institute’s Junior Bach program, which unites local middle schoolers with composition grad students and asks them to make beautiful music together.

Since 2006, the venerable music school has been teaming up with kids from St. Ignatius Loyola Academy. The idea is that the middle schoolers get a mentor, along with an early exposure to the world of composition. Even more than that, writing music ” gives the students an opportunity to express their emotions,” Julie Miller, the school’s assistant principal, told the JHU Gazette. “And it gives them confidence going forward, [the ability to think,] ‘I composed a piece of music; I can do this high school project.'” Meanwhile, the Peabody students get early exposure to teaching.

Last week, St. Ignatius hosted a concert showcasing the students’ compositions. It’s not up on the program’s YouTube channel yet, but it will be soon. Keep your eyes peeled!

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