YOSA transforms lives by pursuing excellence in classical music. We are committed to creating a stimulating, nurturing, and fun environment that is equally accessible to all youth. In every rehearsal and every concert, we also work to prepare our student musicians to demonstrate mastery and fluency in the six standards of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills in Music:
1. Perception. The student describes and analyzes musical sound and demonstrates musical artistry.
- Students are introduced to the elements of music (rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, etc.) and use standard musical terminology at all levels of YOSA.
- Music theory is an integral part of instruction at YOSA Summer Symphony Camp and in YOSA MÁS. It is also incorporated into the orchestral experience as appropriate.
2. Creative expression/performance. The student sings or plays an instrument, individually and in groups, performing a varied repertoire of music.
- Standard #2 is the core of YOSA’s activity in rehearsals and performances. Whenever possible, conductors and coaches incorporate concepts from the other five standards into rehearsals.
- Appropriate selection of repertoire not only matches the technical needs of each level, but also balances a variety of historical periods and incorporates some alternative styles (i.e. non-classical music). YOSA’s recurring cycle of core repertoire is included at every level.
3. Creative expression/performance. The student reads and writes music notation.
- Conductors and coaches point out and define musical terms and symbols as they occur.
- To develop stronger sight-reading skills, ensembles sight-read new repertoire together whenever possible, rather than distributing music to students in advance of the first rehearsal.
4. Creative expression/performance. The student creates and arranges music within specified guidelines.
- Classes in composition are taught during the YOSA Summer Symphony Camp.
- Conductors mentor and support student composers whenever possible.
5. Historical/cultural heritage. The student relates music to history, to society, and to culture.
- Conductors offer historical context on composers, styles, and repertoire, including placement within the standard historical periods (e.g. baroque, classical, romantic, 20th century).
- Conductors and coaches mentor students on the wide variety of careers and educational opportunities related to music.
6. Response/evaluation. The student responds to and evaluates music and musical performance.
- Conductors encourage thoughtful listening and critical thinking, especially through listening sessions at Mo-Ranch.
- Students are encouraged to attend professional musical performances and offered tools and strategies for insightful listening.