My students are full of energy and curiosity and they love to sing and dance and make music together. They love to learn about places and cultures that are different from their own community, and while many have never had a chance to travel more than a few miles from home, my school also serves a diverse refugee community. Many of my students are being raised by single parents, grandparents, or extended family. The majority have already faced some trials and trauma by the time they reach school, and we sometimes have to remind them how to be kids. The music classroom is one of the easiest places to find that spark of joy and nurture it.
SES is a Title I school which was built in the early 1950s. Many of our music materials were purchased when the school was new, when grandparents or even great-grandparents of current students were in school. While we do work in the music room on sharing and taking turns, with these new materials we could move through more songs and learning opportunities. Having an instrument or a scarf helps keep children engaged and learning. When a child is singing and playing or moving with the music, they are engaging many parts of the brain at once, which creates connections that will help them master not only physical coordination, but language, numbers, and all kinds of problem-solving.
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