It never ceases to amaze me how music can bring people together and create such a special bond. My students come from all different kinds of backgrounds culturally, financially, emotionally, and musically. Each and every one of them brings something unique to the classroom and into the music. Singing is fueled by vulnerability which isn't always easy to find in the world of middle school.
Choir is a place of refuge for many of my students.
They come to escape social drama, troubled home lives, academic pressure, mental illness, and other weights. Some things cannot be expressed through words alone; my students sing to express what they cannot speak. Together, they create one voice full of passion, emotion, and beauty.
When choosing multicultural songs for my choirs to sing, I'd like to be able to also teach them about the relative instruments and allow them to accompany themselves for performances. Many of my students are Hispanic, but not many of them have had the chance to play instruments of their culture. The instruments I have chosen include Hispanic as well as other cultures from around the world.
When children listen, sing, and play music from diverse cultures, they also gain knowledge about diversity, tolerance, and cultural understanding.
These skills help us be better human beings. When youths participate in such ways, they also play a part in preserving and passing on cultural traditions. Learning to appreciate diverse people and cultures is one of my main goals for my students. Giving them the chance to learn about and play these instruments provides a wonderful path for that journey.
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