Bogin, 9, started singing opera when she was 3 years old.
She was so responsive to sounds all around her that when she
was 1 and a half, she heard a siren going off down the street,
and tried to match the sound.
mother, Magda Bogin, knew something unusual was going on.
So she would play her daughter Russian church music for her
to fall asleep. Later, when Natasha was 2 and a half, she
heard a Maria
Callas tape, and began to ask for it every night.
of musically gifted children across New York are making a
special choice: They are sending their children to schools
where music is as important as the academic curriculum. The
school Natasha attends, The Special
Music School of America (SMSA), is one such institution.
New York City, Natasha is one of the lucky ones. The city
school budget crisis during the 1980s forced many schools
to cut their music departments in austere budget programs
focused on math, reading and science. Since then, there has
been a growth of special music academies and after-school
programs to meet the needs of children and parents who want
music to be a part of their lives.
"This school is unique, it is the only one of its kind
in the U.S.A."
in five American schools do not offer music or art classes.
Department of Education.
in four eighth graders reported being asked to sing or play
a music instrument at least once a week.
Assessment of Education Progess