Showcasing the expressive potential in music, Express! Programs bring kids in touch with their creative side, offering instruction and inspiration within the language of music. Various programs are available for grades PreK-12. Options range from 40-minute programs through week-long residencies. Express! is a program of Symerge, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization.
We present musical school programs for kids, both for general audiences (intro to string instruments, moods in music, & musical teamwork) and for string players (improvisation, fiddling, & rhythmic styles). Read more about our programs at our Programs Page.
Express! Artists & co-founders Beth & Kyle Bultman. Read about us on the Artists Page.
Although we are based in Rochester, NY half the year, during the other half we travel extensively, and may be coming past your city. Contact us for more information.
In today's media & technology-saturated society, many young people are experts at consuming artistic content, but have little literacy in how to relate their own experiences through expressive means. Express! wants to show that arts build creativity by developing expressive foundations in students' lives.
For program & fee info, visit our Programs page. For more detailed program descriptions & options, download our brochure.
We recently brought Express! Programs to students in New York, Georgia, and Florida. Read some highlights below. (For more information on Express! Programs, visit our Programs Page.)
Last spring we worked with High School Orchestra Students at the largest high school in Georgia. At first, the students were hesitant to try improvisation, but with encouragement, they learned to improvise and create a simple improvised musical structure. This unleashed creativity in many students, who later formed improvisation groups after school to continue trying what they had learned. We look forward to returning this year for more improvisation sessions!
Many of our elementary (& younger) programs highlighted the emotions, pictures, and stories that music can express. One of the most fun aspects of performing this program is seeing the kids react to the emotions the music is expressing. They really get it! They will jiggle for happy music, sway a bit for sad music, and start pumping their fists up and down for angry music. I’m sure if the teachers let them, they’d have quite a few more motions to add!
Left: High School string students in Georgia get a jolt of creativity by improvising, many for the first time.
Right: Curious preschool students experience music and string instruments up close, many for the first time.
"Typical children’s musical programs deliver a message and entertain with props, songs, and routines. Express! shares a musical experience with children that goes far beyond this traditional model. Beth and Kyle played their instruments, interacted with the children, and let them touch their instruments. They played “real” music. The children were mesmerized and totally immersed, not taking their eyes off the performance. Everyone was relaxed, focused and engaged. The children were drawn into the power and beauty of the music – they were filled with the experience. It is imperative that we continue to expose our students to music on all levels, giving them role models who create beauty. The impact and importance of this exposure cannot be measured. It lasts a lifetime."
Director/Owner, Windsor Academy Educational Campus, New Windsor, NY
Contact us if you're interested in learning more, or if you'd like us to mail you a printed brochure, or if you'd like a quote for a program at your school.