Giving Bach


Instruments in the Lafayette orchestra room.

Moe Wheat, Arts Editor

At Lafayette, there is a Giving Bach program in action, and anyone can join, including those not in orchestra class. Giving Bach is a program where young people perform orchestra concerts that are both interactive and educational. Lafayette’s Giving Bach meets on Wednesdays to practice.

This program was originally started by music instructor Richard Meyer in Temple City, California. Their very first performance took place on December 1, 2009. It is now seen as an interactive concert for kids with special needs and students in elementary school.

There was a performance last week, on the 27th, which demonstrated the dimension that there is to Giving Bach performances.

The difference between Giving Bach and a normal orchestra concert is that the audience gets to walk through the orchestra as its playing and observe the instruments at work.

Because this program is so successful and interesting to students, Meyer encourages everyone to incorporate it into their orchestra program, and has even included steps in their website to doing so. In these steps, Meyer instructs, after getting it passed through administration, to bring it to your orchestra students and to ask them why they enjoyed playing music.

Meyer says, “I gave each student a simple written survey to find out why, in their minds, they were playing music in the first place…I read all of their papers and shared the results with them. Of the 72 students in the class, 65 of them mentioned only themselves in their answer: ‘It’s fun’, ‘I enjoy it’, ‘It makes me feel happy’ and ‘It lets me express myself” were the most popular responses. Only 7 students mentioned other people in their answer- ‘I make music to entertain people’ or ‘It makes people happy and calm’.”

More, such as how else a Giving Bach program can be implemented and it’s further history, can be found on their website at

Join Lafayette’s Giving Bach progam on Wednesdays.