Posted on Thursday, August 25th, 2011 at 3:51 pm Written by Arts Corps
It was June 2011, and the spring was still offering some raindrops as apparent resistance to the sun who timidly appeared to announce the proximity of the summer. The undefined weather resembled my last day at Kimball Elementary School reflecting on a mixed feeling around my heart. Happiness for moving to a different direction with Arts Corps after accepting my new role as Faculty Development Manager, blended with the sadness of knowing that I made a decision to stop teaching my afterschool class.
I didn’t intend to overload myself with too many different activities, so I could embrace my new responsibilities and ongoing activities with more efficiency. Although, not ready to cease my academic activities, I will still be teaching music once a week at a non-profit music school in the Eastside. I felt that I was ready to join the Arts Corps staff and become a new component of an impressive team that bravely fights to provide quality Arts Education to King County.
On my way to the gymnasium where my class was held, I performed the same ritual: stop first in the lunch room, say “Hi” to Mary, and pickup the basket full of snacks to distribute to my students after our usual check in. I was almost entering my teaching space, when a student intercepted me, and with a beautiful smile on his face and a vivid voice said “I know you… you are the drumming teacher, and I can’t wait to join your class next quarter”.
Without waiting for my response, the boy disappeared into the long corridor among other students, parents and teachers who moved rapidly in different directions to who knows where. What I know is that his statement made me ponder how that child’s reaction would be when he finds out that the class he wanted was no longer available. I had to “put myself back together” and be prepared to bring a positive presence to my students who were about to arrive.
After my class, before I turned my car on, I spent a few minutes reflecting about the weather and myself. Why the image of the child walking away after his solid announcement was affecting me so hard and why I was thinking about the rain and the sunlight. Those assorted conditions some how made me understand even better, that Teaching Artists are making a difference.
It was clear that that child wanted to stay afterschool because my drumming class did exercise a positive response while making the school still a safe environment even after-hours. I should not procrastinate on giving a bigger step to help Arts Corps to imagining possibilities by looking at ways to expand the action of Teaching Artists who for sure will hear some other boy or girl saying: “…I can’t wait to join your class next quarter”.
Posted on Tuesday, August 24th, 2010 at 4:51 pm Written by Arts Corps
The MusicianCorps Seattle Fellows dedicated a year of service to music learning. A bulk of their time was spent teaching: in school, after-school, in community centers, at low-income housing institutes, to students learning an instrument for the first time, and to professionals seeking to incorporate music tools into their career.
The four MusicianCorps Seattle Fellows reached 234 students with ongoing year-long music learning classes, and over 2,500 community members with civic and learning events.
“Taking care of people … drumming … the bells … meeting people … being able to work together … tambourines … working together” –what students (aged 5-9) liked from Brazilian Rhythms, the MusicianCorps class led by Eduardo Mendonca
“It’s been good. I enjoy practices. I enjoy the feeling I get when I wake up in the morning and say ‘uh, I got to go to school, but at least I have drumline today.’ He has taught me a lot of stuff. A lot of it has to do with drums, like sticking. But not only drumline … to believe in myself that I can do anything I want if I really try.” –David Valdez-Lazo, student in Aaron Walker-Loud’s drumline class at Washington Middle School
“I think his energy was really, really important. [Amos] opened up the space. He was modeling what we were going to do. And that was really important in order for us to start taking initiative to actually start seeing what it looks like.”
“It’s made me try new things and understand people better. When you actually sit down and take time to learn about how people are, you actually realize how amazing everybody is.”
“Now I have a stronger sense of self, and a stronger sense of what I need to get accomplished and who I am as a person. We all have these dreams, but who you are is what you choose to do, even if you mess up.”
“I am going to write music about issues going on in the community and perform them so that other people can learn about what’s going on. And to do performances for charities, because that’s what I really liked about being in this group – to play music for something we actually really cared about.” –students from Youngstown Records, MusicianCorps class led by Amos Miller
“Cool, Inspiring, Fun, Creative, Challenging, Awesome, The people, Carla, My team” –what students liked from World Rhythms, the MusicianCorps class at Low Income Housing Institute at Meadowbrook View Apartments, led by MusicianCorps Fellow Carla Moreno