Tuesday (2/5) on the public radio KALW 91.7 FM (San Francisco), Ryan Zavala writes, “A few children shuffle in their seats to get a better look, but most of them resume their work putting their clarinets together. ‘Okay, let’s talk about what the holes do again,’ says instructor Katherine Lyles. … The class of fourth grade clarinet players is moving along smoothly. Lyle is here teaching thanks to the grant from the Oakland East Bay Symphony. The Symphony’s aim is to help economically challenged students engage and reach out to different communities with Oakland through the Oakland Youth Orchestra and the Young People’s Concert. The program has come a long way over the years. Students have the opportunity to participate in OEBS Young Artist Competition and earn the chance to perform publicly with the Oakland East Bay Symphony. Music for Excellence, also referred to as MUSE, sends out professional musicians to Oakland Public schools who teach small groups of students and provide individual instruction to student, just like Lyles is doing right now at Franklin Elementary. … Lyles [also] teaches a class for the deaf and hard of hearing. ‘They’re really a lot of fun because they experience everything physically,’ Lyles says, ‘so there’s a lot of drumming, and percussion.’ ”

Posted February 6, 2013