Public School Education Program
Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are?
We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move.
You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel?
You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.
MusicUnitesUS and Education
MusicUnitesUS brings world class artists from around the world to public school students for a series of diverse music performances that support social studies lessons in the classroom. The MUUS programs are carefully shaped to reinforce the content of the related classroom lesson plans. In the context of history and culture, music becomes a powerful teaching tool - an authentic voice revealing cultural values, expressing overarching social themes such as freedom and justice, and exploring issues of identity. Not only do these programs enhance the academic curricula, they also address issues of multiculturalism and diversity.
We believe that education must help to meaningfully shape our childrenís ability to act ethically and responsibly in an increasingly complex society, and that the Arts can play a unique role in this effort. We believe that in the search for peaceful coexistence throughout the world, we must begin with an understanding and appreciation of the many different histories and worldviews that together, tell the story of humankind. Public education provides the first structured venue for many children to begin learning about different cultures through classroom study of geography, history, and social studies. MUUS seeks to enhance the public school curriculum by offering a unique accounting of diverse worldviews through live performances of music. Linking classroom lessons to the musical voice of a culture, these performances are autobiographical narratives that express the values, hopes, and dreams of diverse cultures, adding an essential perspective to standard classroom education.
Each year hundreds Waltham public school students come to Brandeis University to take part in MusicUnitesUS programs.
MusicUnitesUS brings public school students to diverse music performances that reflect social studies lessons in the classroom. The MUUS programs are carefully shaped to reinforce the content of the related classroom lesson plans. In the context of history and culture, music becomes a powerful teaching tool - an authentic voice revealing cultural values, expressing overarching social themes such as freedom and justice, and exploring issues of identity. Not only do these programs enhance the academic curriculum, they also address issues of multiculturalism and diversity.
When and Who:
MUUS programs take place during the academic year. Students from participating public school classrooms are bused to Brandeis University from the schools to attend the performances. (See performances.) Alternatively, MUUS visiting artists perform at the schools.
Each program is one hour long. The venues include Slosberg Recital Hall and Spingold Theater, on the Brandeis campus, and Waltham High School and middle schools. Programs are geared to the appropriate age level, prepared by visiting artists in conjunction with participating schools’ curricula. The aim of these programs is to explore the histories, social perspectives, and traditions of diverse cultures through the unique autobiographical narrative voice of music.
Integration into curriculum:
Cooperating teachers teach lesson plans (created by MUUS lesson plan writer in collaboration with classroom teachers) relating to the historical and social aspects of the cultures represented in the music programs. Lesson plans provide the historical and cultural context for exploring such overarching themes as independence, freedom, identity, diversity, justice, etc. These lessons in the classroom precede and link to the concerts. Likewise, the performances address and reinforce these themes through music. Prepared recorded selections previewing the concerts are distributed by MUUS to the classroom teachers.
Essential to the spirit of MusicUnitesUS is the partnership between the host institution Brandeis University, the Waltham Public Schools, and the Waltham community.
Brandeis University is a community of scholars and students united by their commitment to the pursuit of knowledge and its transmission from generation to generation. As a research university, Brandeis is dedicated to the advancement of the humanities, arts, and social, natural, and physical sciences. As a liberal arts college, Brandeis affirms the importance of a broad and critical education in enriching the lives of students and preparing them for full participation in a changing society, capable of promoting their own welfare, yet remaining deeply concerned about the welfare of others. As host institution for MusicUnitesUS, Brandeis is rich in resources that can enrich the surrounding community. With its many programs and departments, the University extends its own mission to the surrounding community.
Brandeis offers one of the best small, professional quality concert halls in the Greater Boston area. Having the performances in this venue serves two purposes: to expose students to high quality music in a professional venue, and to welcome the Waltham community to Brandeis University.
A central objective for MusicUnitesUS is encourage connections between communities. Built around each program offered to the schools are satellite events at the University, designed to provoke discussion, invite reflection, and inspire participation. Brandeis students from the many programs and departments, such as the Education Program, Latin American Studies, African and Afro-American Studies, Anthropology, Music, etc., attend the variety of informal workshops, panel discussions, and lectures that revolve around the public school presentations. The surrounding community is invited to many of these events as well as public concerts, which form the core of the Music Departmentís World Music Series. Through these events, MusicUnitesUS seeks to offer opportunities for individuals and local communities to find links to each other, and to the larger global community.
MUUS in Partnership with Public Schools
MusicUnitesUS can play a unique role in the education of public schoolchildren. Offering quality music performances that are meaningfully integrated into the classroom curriculum is an objective of MusicUnitesUS. The public schools serve a community with a wide range of social, cultural, and economic diversity. Not only can the programs offered by MUUS help to enhance the classroom teaching of social studies and encourage critical thinking, these programs can serve to unite diverse cultures in the local community.