Pennywhistle Band was created by New York City music teacher Don Castellow.
“I created Pennywhistle Band to bring instrumental music instruction to every fifth grade student in a fun, intuitive, and affordable method.
Learning to play an instrument is too valuable to be withheld from any child. I taught instrumental music and band at PS/MS 29 in the South Bronx. Only a select number of students participated in the fifth grade beginning band program. During band lessons more than half of the grade was left behind in the classroom. These children, through no fault of their own would not share the experience of learning to play an instrument in a well structured, disciplined program like band.
This type of music instruction is shown to improve brain function, memory, and listening skills. Band students show increased improvement in areas such as behavior, respect for authority and teamwork, and yes, higher test scores. Learning to play a musical instrument develops meta-cognitive skills. Instrumental music students are learning how to learn, and this skill is transferable to any subject. This is a benefit every student needs and deserves.”
The Pennywhistle Band Schools Project features teacher workshops and weekly classroom lessons by certified music teachers. PBSP has distributed more than 2,000 pennywhistles and student books plus teaching materials to public schools in New York and Pennsylvania at no cost.