The Children's Orchestra Society, founded in 1962 by Dr. H.T. Ma, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to "teaching the language of music" to children and teens. Our mission is to cultivate and nurture children and teach them teamwork and life skills through music-learning and performing in orchestral and chamber music settings. Members of COS receive excellent training in classical music and opportunities to perform in concerts with their peers as well as with well-established musicians.
A Child-Centered Approach
A child's innate capability to learn and develop musical talent of the highest level, when nurtured in a cooperative environment: this is the core belief of Director Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma and Music Director Michael Dadap, who have led the Children's Orchestra Society since 1984. In an interview with Causes, Dr. Ma explains, "We have expanded on the 'tailor-made' parts my father used to write so that each child could take part in the group experience, despite differing levels of competence."
Success for COS means instilling each young musician with the invaluable experience and individual benefits of music making. To reach this goal the faculty works hard to:
Foster a supportive learning environment;
Create opportunities to perform;
Provide role models and a bridge to the professional world through master classes and performance collaborations with eminent musicians;
Enrich and involve the community through performances for civic and cultural groups.
Music Programs for Varying Skill Levels
We are committed to keeping COS programs accessible to the broadest range of families. While acceptance is on the basis of an audition, COS accepts students of various levels. With five orchestras, a chamber music department, and musicianship classes COS has a wide range of programs suitable for students from beginners to the most advanced. Fees are kept far below the actual costs of operation, and scholarships may be available for exceptional young musicians in true need of financial assistance.
Ken Aizawa (age 14) began playing the clarinet as part of the school band at the age of eight. A few years later, in sixth grade, he began playing the piano as well. At the age of 11, Mr. Aizawa began studying clarinet formally with Dr. Aki Uwabe; and, in 2009 began studies with clarinet teacher, Ms. Noriko Nagao. With Ms. Nagao, Mr. Aizawa has completed levels five through seven (with merit) of the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music exams (ABRSM) as well as level five music theory, which he passed with distinction. He will be participating in the ABRSM level seven exams for both clarinet and piano later this year.