"Ago?" "Ame!" ("Are you ready to learn?" "Yes, we are ready to learn!") My music students are familiar with this call and response which, borrowed from the folkloric traditions of West Africa loosely translates to "Listen!" and "I am listening." The students at my school are comfortable with multiple languages. Mandarin, Spanish, Urdu, Russian, Arabic, and Uzbeck make up the first languages of most of my students. Some are still learning English, but that doesn't stop them from having fun in the new music room.
It is no doubt that their capacity to understand two or more languages attract them to music.
A community of immigrants, the students have a wonderful opportunity to bring a bit of their musical culture to our school, sharing their unique experiences and learning to appreciate others' contributions. Our school is large, around thirteen hundred students, with seventy percent of them qualifying for free lunch. Last year, our music department received the best gift music students could ever get - a music room. No longer do the music teachers have to push into the crowded classrooms bringing only as much as we can carry. Now students have a large space dedicated entirely to music.
My band students love music and they love sharing their music! Our music program is very committed to community service. The band marches in local parades, plays at local baseball games, and frequently gives "Instrument Petting Zoos" to pre-K classes and toddler programs in our area. At these "petting zoos", young children are able to try playing the instruments that my students present. While we give them color sheets to take along with them, we'd love to add a new component of engagement with these Fujifilm Instax cameras. My students will be able to take a picture of the children playing or holding the instrument and the child can walk away with the picture!
We want to get our community interested and engaged in music and what better way than to be able to literally picture your children as musicians!
We would likely use these cameras for our own events as well, especially in Summer Band Camp where our new band members get their instrument for the first time. I hope that these cameras will add a little something extra to what I believe is already a strong and sharing music program.
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