Philharmonic Provides Grant to Fund New Instruments for Students with Special Needs

Mark Twain Special Education Music Teacher

Representatives from The Philharmonic Society of Orange County orchestrated a momentous occasion at the Special Education Center at Mark Twain this week, delivering a large donation of adaptable musical instruments. The instruments were funded with a $10,000 grant through The Philharmonic Society’s Strike Up the Band Program, and the donation was designed to ensure that every student can experience the magic of music.

Students with special needs were filled with joy at the opportunity to try out the new ukuleles, drums, and other accessible instruments that make music with push buttons.

“The Philharmonic Society has been a longstanding partner to our district, generously donating instruments to numerous music programs at our schools,” said Lan Nguyen, Vice President of Garden Grove Unified School District’s Board of Education. “We know that these accessible instruments will bring new excitement and more engaging musical experiences to our special education students.”

Music teacher, Nichole Guerin-Siratt, applied for the competitive grant last year in order to expand opportunities for her students at Mark Twain to experience music making in ways that work best for their varying needs. Nichole also teaches music to Moderate/Severe special education students at Bell and Ralston Intermediate Schools, and Pacifica High School.

Students at the Special Education Center at Mark Twain receive 30 minutes of music instruction twice each week.