When Music Works Its Magic
Early Childhood music teacher Larena Code does not just lead her classes in song. She takes them on an exploration of global cultures. She exposes them to underrepresented musical genres. She opens their ears to a diversity of sounds not always found in your typical primary school music program. "The early childhood experience at Lab provides a critical foundation for children's musical and social learning. Our Lab music program supports healthy identity formation, amplifies ownership of childrens' ideas and voices, and begins to develop a respect and value of other people, races, and cultures," said Code.
For Code's first and second graders, lessons center on a deep dive into the music of another country or culture. Listening, singing, and discussing concepts from world music is joyful work. "In these foundational years, musical concepts are carefully presented in a developmentally appropriate order and sequence. Students hear, sing, play, understand, read, write, and create. It is amazing to see just how much the children grow and how empowered they are from their growing musical skills," shared Code.
The fun doesn't stop at the door of the classroom. Community Sings provide Code and her colleagues, En Chen and Julie Jaworowicz, an opportunity to showcase student learning and invite family and friends into the process. At the September Community Sing, students, parents, grandparents, teachers, and friends sang songs in Spanish, Hebrew, Ewe, and English, and ended with a shout out to Earth, Wind, and Fire's September. One song at a time, music becomes a magical language that broadens our youngest students' minds, connects them with their community and their world, and affirms their identities and cultures. From one note, a musical journey begins.
Congratulations to our own Ms. Code for winning the 2022 Outstanding Emerging Educator award from the Organization of American Kodály Educators.
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