Caroline Coen/Elle Defensor

Written by Mei Bailey, Journalist

Caroline Coen and Elle Defensor are the co-founders of Monday Morning Music, a new introductory music program for fifth graders from both elementary schools. Unlike in years past, at the beginning of the school year there was no established instrumental music program at either Robert Down or Forest Grove. The two high school freshman decided to take on the project and find a way to continue the music education program themselves. “I’ve made most of my favorite memories through band,” Elle says, “I wanted to pass it on to future generations.” Caroline and Elle overcame many challenges to organize the program, including dealing with school regulations, finding time for the classes to meet, and getting administrators, parents, and students in the loop. They also worked to recruit teaching assistants–student musicians from the high school–to help teach specific instruments. “It is a solid start, and it’s going to get better from here,” Caroline says about the first official meeting last Monday. The end goal of Monday Morning Music is to have the fifth graders making music together in band or orchestra, playing the traditional “Regal March” that every fifth grade musician in Pacific Grove learns. This generation of young musicians will continue to grow and develop, thanks to Caroline and Elle’s dedicated work to the preservation of the Pacific Grove music program.