My students are tuneful, beautiful, artful people! Our classroom is filled with joy, the joy that comes from making music together. We sing songs from around the world, move expressively, dance, play instruments, and compose music. Some of my students really flourish and become excellent singers or instrument players or dancers. When I identify those high-achieving students, I try to find opportunities for them to shine outside of school. I teach students in grades K-4 at a charter school in the South Bronx.
My musicians love to cozy up with a good book at the beginning of class. I set a timer, and for those few moments before the lesson, they immerse themselves in stories of courage, song, and everyday kids who grew up to be musical giants. As the timer goes off, there's always a few children that are itching to share what they've discovered about a particular musician or genre, "hey look, Ms. Peppers! We play have pianos just like Duke Ellington!" or, "I didn't know Tito Puente lived in New York City. That's where we live!" As a kid, I was always trying to find a bit of myself in the musicians I looked up to. I found my time of practice at the piano enriched by new things I learned about Nina Simone or Chopin. All it takes is one spark from a sentence or whimsical illustration to set a dream and a goal ablaze.
By donating to this project, you'll help my stellar musicians continue to draw deeper connections from themselves to cultures around them and musicians that inspire.
They'll learn of how musicians honed their skills, where they got their nicknames from, or how their backgrounds and interests led them to create memorable and impactful works. Please help me foster an appreciation for music in my classroom.
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