Havrutav wind instument program in partnership with the Korczak Elementary School

The Havrutav Program was founded in 2005 as a wonderful coomperation between Hassadna and the Korczak School located in the French Hill neighborhood in Jerusalem. The program was founded in order to share the benefits of learning to play musical instruments with children who would not usually have that opportunity, and to make music integral to their education. We see exposure to the arts and music as enormously beneficial to general education. Playing instruments is known to improve concentration, emotional expression, cognition, self-discipline, coordination, attentiveness and patience. To that end, each child is closely accompanied and personally supported by Becky Tailor, the project’s coordinator, and Sagit Mazuz, Head of Hassadna’s Wind department.

Every year the program reaches 200 children from diverse cultural, social and economic backgrounds.  We try especially hard to reach under-privileged children, including children at risk and children of Ethiopian descent.

How does the program work? 

Second and third grade

All second and third grade students at Korczak are firstly exposed to musical studies in weekly group lessons through one of three options: recorder, xylophone or Hebrew song studies.

Fourth grade 

At the beginning of the school year, in presentation in front of the entire fourth grade, Korczak, students are introduced to the full range of wind and percussion instruments taught by Hassadna teachers. Following the presentation, every child who wishes to study an instrument meets individually with Sagit Mazuz, and is directed to an appropriate instrument and instructor. All participating students take part in two weekly musical activites:

  • Individual weekly lessons with an instrument instructor.
  • A weekly rehearsal in an orchestra conducted by Alex Gubernik, a distinguished conductor and teacher of wind instruments at Hassadna.

Fifth and sixth grade

Students who continue with their instrument studies join the senior Korzcak orchestra led by Alex Gubernick. Those who want to continue their studies and demonstrate the requisite competencies are provided with additional individual instruction at the Conservatory and join Hassadna’s Wind Orchestra, conducted by Sagit Mazuz. 

Annual Festive Concerts

In the spring of each year, a festive concert is held on the beautiful stage of the YMCA hall in Jerusalem, where all ensembles and orchestras of the Havrutav program get to perform in front of an enthusiastic crowd of teachers, family and fellow students.
At the end of the year, the Havrutav orchestras join the Hassadna wind orchestras and ensembles for a festive end of the year concert, where the Korczac students can receive inspiration from the older wind students and orchestras of Hassadna. 

Havrutav Orchestra on the YMCA Hall stage, Spring Concert

What happens next? Havrutav Graduates

After finishing elementary school at Korzcak, graduating students of Havrutav are enrolled directly at Hassadna to continue their musical studies. There they benefit from the conservatory’s rich educational program: weekly individual lessons with an instructor; mentoring; weekly theory and ear training lessons; a monthly master class; and participation in chamber music ensembles, school-based and conservatory orchestras, concerts and exams. 

The Havrutav Program Achievements

  • Many Havrutav graduates make music the center of their lives; after the Korzcak school, they continue to enroll in music-based high schools. A growing number of graduates continue for undergraduate studies in one of Israel’s music academies.
  • A growing number of Havrutav graduates are accepted to distinguished musical institutions, including the National Wind Orchestra and the Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. 
  • A growing number of Havrutav graduates serve in the IDF’s Outstanding Musicians Unit or the IDF Wind Orchestra.
  • For some years now, Hassadna’s graduating class has included Havrutav graduates who started the program in second grade and reached their senior year in the conservatory, taking the Bagrut (matriculation exam) in music performance and performing in the festive recital that concludes their wonderful musical journey.

Hadar Ben Aharon (Tuba), a graduate of the Havrutav program and the Hassadna Conservatory.
After graduating from the Korczak School, Hadar went on to study at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance High-school. Hadar then served in the IDF’s Wind Orchestra, and later on began his Bachelors degree in conducting at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Hadar comes a full circle as he is serving today as a conductor for a young wind orchestra.