This morning, ArtLoveMagic hosted its first ever kids music workshop. While we’ve done this with visual art before, this was the first time we were able to do it for music.
The workshops are in partnership with the Deep Ellum Foundation and special thanks goes to Jeanne Blanton who made a donation to specifically underwrite them.
Deborah Driscoll–ArtLoveMagic’s music director–arranged the day. The kids were in groups of 5 and they rotated through 20 minute classes. The directive was simple. Do something that inspires and make sure it is hands on.
Kelly Nygren taught percussion. Not only did she have multiple instruments for each of the students to try, but she also taught us that we all have rhythm in our pulse, heartbeat and breathing. She showed us that anything could be an instrument, and she made waterbottles filled with rice that the kids could take with them as shakers.
As it was, the shakers turned out handy in Tony Cherry’s songwriting class. Not only did the groups learn to write songs through word associations, descriptions, and daily life stories, but in a couple of classes they pulled out the shakers and sang along.
In guitar class, we learned about the difference in electric and acoustic, the different parts of the guitar and about chords. We also learned to “play loud and play proud.”
Melody Cherry taught us how to breathe in order to use our bodies as instruments. After some warm up and practice at holding notes, the kids were able to get onstage with the microphone and perform.
In Ms. Delphi’s piano class, there were three keyboards and we learned that “Jack and Jill” (the two black keys close together) were near C, D, E and the “Three Little Pigs” (three black keys together) were next to F, G, A, B.
Isaac Davies taught about how Hip Hop started from sampling records and how those samples are linked together to make new music. The kids were albe to play with the sampler and Isaac even taught a bit about freestyling and showed off his skills.
After the classes, the students had pizza, then when that group left, the others arrived and teachers and volunteers set up to do it all again.
Many thanks to Life in Deep Ellum for providing the venue, all the teachers and volunteers who walked kids from class to class, set up chairs and made sure even the most timid weren’t left out.
For ArtLoveMagic, days like this are about passion. As public schools are cutting art and music programs, we are becoming stronger and stronger advocates for the power of the arts. We all remember our own introduction to paints, instruments, color and song. We are brighter more beautiful people because of it and it was very, very fun to share that.
note- we’d also like to extend thanks to Jeanne Blanton, The DEF, and Mayor Pro Tem Caraway’s staff for supporting this event.