The Bach Invasion!

“Music makes your kid interesting and happy, and smart will come later. It enriches his or her appetite for things that bring you pleasure and for the friends you meet.”                                                                                                          Dr. Kyle Pruett, Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine

On March 21, 2018, a public school in Brooklyn was invaded by the music of Johann Sebastian Bach in celebration of his 333rd birthday. Forty musicians spent a day visiting every P.S. 321 classroom. The rooms and the halls of the school were filled with music. This wasn’t the first year that the school was invaded by musicians playing classical music but each “invasion” brings excitement and new experiences to the children from kindergarten through fifth grade.

This is a huge school. There are almost 1500 students. How many principals would be as open to dedicating a school day to music as Liz Phillips, She has welcomed each “invasion” with open arms and anticipation. I taught at P.S. 321 for many years, my daughter and grandson were students there and my son-in-law, Jeremy Greensmith, now teaches there. It’s truly an important part of the life of my family. Now, Simone Dinnerstein, my daughter, has organized community concerts at the school and also made a personal commitment to bringing classical music into the lives of all the children and their teachers.

Here’s a glimpse into some of the classrooms.

Here’s a jazz musician introducing children to his improvising on Bach’s music.


Kelly Howard and her students played for the children in Jeremy Greensmith’s class.


Even the squirmy kindergarten students were visited by a high school student who played her cello for them.


My former first grade student, Corinne Bennett, returned to P.S. 321 to perform for a class of second-graders. What a wonderful teacher she has become!

I wonder if this experience will be the inspiration for a chid to learn to play the violin?

For some time there has been talk of the “graying” of the classical music audience. Somehow, I think that the exciting introduction to classical music that these children are experiencing is creating many future concert-goers!


Here is a television program that highlighted a past “invasion”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *