I teach at a Title 1 urban school where 100% of my students receive free breakfast and lunch and 60% are considered Economically Disadvantaged. Our students are ethnically diverse (73.1% of the students are non-white), and 81.6% of them are English Language Learners or have English as their second language. Over 70% are also considered part of a high needs population. Our school also receives a large percentage of the new residents in Worcester, and recently began to see many Middle Eastern refugees and Puerto Rican immigrants. Our students come from many countries and speak many different languages.
Despite what others would see as insurmountable challenges, the students at Sullivan are motivated, bright, and eager to expand their world.
With our high needs, economically disadvantaged, and language learning population, music class is a place where each student can connect and do all that. They do not have to speak a common language to communicate creatively here. It is a safe place to create, respond, make mistakes, and encourage each other. We hope it will always be a place where they can discover themselves, learn how to deal with tough emotions, and easily be a part of community.
My students will be able to use DJ equipment to create final, finished compositions that show off their creative sides! Students often compose and informally create amazing pieces of works but don't have an opportunity to record and share them.
As music advances, music technology also advances, but unfortunately the music technology in our school isn't up-to-date.
Students love listening to music, but they have trouble relating what they hear to what they create in the formal music setting. Having music recording equipment that can create the sounds they're used to hearing will spark their creative sides and allow them to compose musically. They also learn about the history of Blues, R&B, Hip-Hop, and Rap music in class. A turntable will help them create music that reflects the Hip-Hop they've learned about, and midi keyboards help them add more sounds than the current computers do on their own.
One of the focuses of Music class at SMS is helping students discover their identities and how creative endeavors support that pursuit. SMS also has a writing focus for all students. As such, a huge part of music class is songwriting. Students feel more confident about taking risks when they can be proud of the finished product. A microphone will allow them to not only create music but record their own songs and words into finished products. They will be able to see their writing as finished works of art, ready for them to show the world.
Give my students the opportunity to learn about music technology while creating works that relate to their interests and their lives. Help them gain confidence with finished recorded projects in our new recording studio using the Mic and DJ Controller. And help them dream where they could go next with their creativity!
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