My students are kind, intelligent, beautiful souls with potential to inspire the world for positive change through music. Our elementary school is the only Chicago Public School in the Little Village neighborhood with a Mariachi music education program.
Our school serves one of the most vulnerable communities- recent immigrants from México in search for an opportunity to give their children a future unattainable in our homeland.
Students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch as 94% are raised in low-income families and 51% of them have limited English skills.
As their teacher who was once an undocumented immigrant in the U.S and a former Chicago Public School student, I strive to instill hope through music education to make opportunities, like college, possible. My music education allowed me to attain a scholarship to college, all because I kept my grades up, was Latino and had been playing trumpet for 7 years. It is my hope that I can inspire a student that looks like me to work hard so that college isn't only a dream.
For the past couple of summers, I have been a part of the Mile of Music - Music Education Team in Appleton, WI. The Music Ed Team is responsible for putting on 40+ interactive, hands-on workshops during this 4-day music festival. Our mission is that 'Music is a Birthright,' and through these workshops (that range from World Drumming, Mariachi, Dances from India, and more!) we can guide our attendees to discover their inner-musicians. Being a part of this team has always refreshened my 'teaching spirit' to bring back new ideas to my classroom.
I have been inspired to teach my students the World Music Drumming curriculum that will teach them about Ghanaian and Afro-Cuban culture through music.
The students that will benefit from this project are my non-Mariachi students who receive music class twice a week, for ten weeks. With the successful funding of this project, all 30+ students in my 6-8th grade classes will have an instrument in their hands. Thus all students will be engaged and no one will feel left out because they have to wait a turn.
Through this 10 week project, students will develop leadership skills by learning their self-chosen instrument parts (e.g: Gangkogui Bell, Sogo Drum). Once they have learned their rhythm and how it fits into context, they will work one-on-one to teach each other their respective part. The end goal will be for my students to proficiently play all the instrument parts, as well as perform for our school assembly. If my students are able to perform and teach their part successfully, then they will have mastered that skill set. Most importantly, my students will learn to respect other cultures and understand that we are all one - even if we look or do things differently.
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