N–2 Community Sing invites grandparents and grandfriends to join the chorus

December 2021 Community Sing

N–2 Community Sing invites grandparents and grandfriends to join the chorus

“It was so wonderful. My heart was just bursting, seeing everybody sing together,” says N–2 music teacher Larena Code, describing the Community Sing held on December 16. “When you’re on Zoom, you don’t hear [participants], but you do get to see them without their masks.” For many of Lab’s youngest learners, the night of music is a special chance to see their classmates and teachers without the masks they diligently wear every day in classrooms. But December’s Community Sing also had special guests: the grandparents and grandfriends of Lab students received an invitation to participate. “It felt like a bigger community,” says Code. “It felt special.”

Before this special night of celebration came many days of work to create the program. Code and the rest of the N–2 music team, En Chen and Julie Jaworowicz, think deeply and critically about what songs to prepare and teach to families. “For the past few years, we’ve been really working hard at creating a more inclusive and diverse list of songs, which includes multiple languages, multiple identities, cultures, holidays,” Code explains. Of the fourteen songs on the December list, lyrics were in eight different languages. In addition to the music team’s “multitude of resources and research,” N–2 community members submit songs important to their families, so the music can be even more reflective of those singing it. “Any song that is dear to our families or communities here, we love to learn it.”

December’s song list was curated to celebrate Peace and Light, two themes that have been emphasized throughout the N–2 curriculum in the past few months. “Light is such a connective tissue at this time of year,” Code observes. “So we had the winter solstice, Kwanzaa songs, Christmas, Hanukkah, songs about snow, and songs from different cultures that don’t celebrate anything right now.”

The next Community Sing will be Wednesday, January 19, and will celebrate the work and service of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Continuing the themes of healing and peace into the new year is important to Code. “I hope that everybody feels seen in some way or another,” Code says of these harmonious concerts, “and also, in moments when they don’t feel seen, that they are celebrating differences—if something is new or different, they’re celebrating it with curiosity.”

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