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Yearly Review

Year by Year Reviews: 2006-2007 |2005-2006 | 2004-2005 | 2003-2004

2004 – 2005

In the second year, the 4th, 5th, and 7th grades - over 1,000 students - of the Waltham schools participated. The students were asked to answer the following questions on evaluation forms, including:

What was your favorite part of the program?

What did you learn?

What would you like to know more about?

Their answers speak to the students’ wide range of interests and innate curiosity about other cultures.

Civil Rights: Songs of Hope and Struggle (October 2004)

African-American singer, songwriter, and educator Jane Sapp collaborated with South African artist, musician, and educator Stompie Selibe in a program of freedom songs that speak out against inequality, racism, and injustice. With words that express courage and dreams, anger and hurt, strength and hope, this music inspired and united oppressed people, accompanying them in their long march toward freedom. Lessons drawn from the MUUS Unit on the American Civil Rights Movement and the South African Anti-Apartheid Movement preceded this program. For the 4th grade.

What was your favorite part of the program?
My favorite part is when I went in the stage with Stompie Selibe.
My favorite part was when we sang “We Shall Overcome”.
My favorite part was when Jane Sapp was telling her story.
Watching the man from Africa playing the drums.
Singing!

What did you learn?
I learned about segregation.
That black people were not allowed to do what white people did.
I learned how the music can set your heart free.
I learned how they sang songs to guide them through the way.
I learned that music can translate.
I learned that I can be part of the music.
I learned that music really does kind of help us be strong.
I learned that the African-Americans sang lots of songs to fight for freedom.
I learned there was segregation in Africa too.
We learned some songs and some African words.
That the lady playing the piano lived when the white and black people were separated.

What would you like to know more about?
Why did they have slaves?
I would like to learn more about segregation.
Are they going to start again?
I would like to know more about why did the white people do that to the black people.
I would like to learn more about instruments and more about Stompie and Jane.
I would like to know more about South Africa.
If maybe after the Civil Rights movement if something else happened?
I would like to learn about why did people use music for expression?
I would like to know if it went on for a long time.
I would like to know more about the Underground Railroad.
I would want to learn more about how it would feel if I were born in that time.
I would like to learn more about Brandeis University.
I want to learn more about more songs that bring us together.
Racism.
I would like to know more about apartheid.
I would like to know about some other black people involved.

Orchid Ensemble: Music From the Silk Road (October 2004)

The exquisite Orchid Ensemble blends ancient Chinese musical traditions with contemporary New Music and Jazz. This program explored the vast cultural influences of the Silk Road through original works inspired by Persian, Indian, and Jewish music. Whether painting musical landscapes of the vast Taklimakan desert, awesome mountain ranges, and endless steppes; or telling the stories of the many people who lived along the ancient pathways of cultural exchange, Orchid Ensemble is “a flawless bridge between Eastern and Western traditions, a musical adventure on the Silk road”. Lessons drawn from the MUUS unit on The Ancient Silk Road preceded this program. For the 7th grade.

In conjunction with the Orchid Ensemble program, students visited The Rose Art Museum to view and hear a short talk on a related exhibit: Yun-fei Ji: The Empty City. Yun-fei Ji’s graceful murals depict the social, political, and environmental effects of China’s construction of the Three Gorges Dam. Ji’s visual storytelling illustrates the failure of modernist utopian ideas in China. It is an historic and prophetic view of the people and traditions of the Yangtze River Valley. This exhibit provided a modern perspective on the pros and cons on cultural exchange, modernization, and globalization.

What was your favorite part of the program?
I liked the art museum the most.
I got to imagine pictures of the ancient Silk Road because of the music I heard, so I like that it connected me to the Silk Road.
The music - the incredible quality of the sound.
When Lan Tung sang in Chinese.
I liked when the performers told us the origins and meanings of the songs.
I liked learning about Lady Cai and her inner battle.

What did you learn?
I learned that the Silk Road also traded not only goods but customs, such as a variety of music.
I learned the music’s diversity came from more cultures than I had thought.
I learned that there is really good music from other countries. I also learned there is so much history from songs.
I learned that some of the songs expressed feeling.
I learned that Chinese music can be cool. I also learned that there can be different songs for like each country.
That Jews lived in China.
I learned that China was once ruled by Turks.
I learned about some of the instruments and about the destruction done by building the 3 Gorges Dam.
I learned about the two sides of the opinions about the dam in China.
I learned about many new paintings, and what they represented in their culture.
I learned how it hard it was to travel on the Silk Road.
I learned about the old instruments and old styles of art passed along the Silk Road.
I think it is amazing that there are so many kinds of music and instruments around the world that not many people know about.
Chinese music is beautiful.
How you could put so many things in one painting.
I learned that some of the pictures had a hidden object or thing in it.
I learned that it might be hard to say something so you can express it in art.
That the Silk Road music is different than the music I listen to.

What would you like to know more about?
I would like to know more about the music, the pictures, and the history.
I want to know how the Silk Road is used in modern times.
I’d like to know more about how to play the different instruments and about the different blends of music.
The life of Lady Cai.
I would like to learn more about the stories behind all the songs.
I’d like to learn exactly how they made silk.
More about the actual culture, and the customs.
The odd paintings.
China.
I would like to learn more about all of the countries involved in the Silk Road.
I would like to know more about the Asian music because it sounds like heaven!
I would like to see more pictures.
The instruments that they played. I think I want to play one.
Life in modern China.
I would like to know more of instruments because I play violin.
I would like to know more about the art in the museum.

Peru Negro: Cultural Ambassadors of Black Peru (March 2005)

The vibrant Peru Negro has been embraced around the globe as the official “Ambassadors of Peruvian Culture”. Featuring dazzling dances, colorful costumes, electrifying rhythms, and historic verses, this thrilling 26-member ensemble performs music originated in the slave trade of colonial Peru and passed down through generations. The lesson plan provided by MUUS surveyed history as well as the concept of cultural identity. For the 7th grade.

What was your favorite part of the program?
I liked the drums and cajitas.
My favorite instrument was the wooden crate.
I loved every moment of the performance, and it reminded me about my culture.
My favorite part was the dancing. It was so fun to watch.
My favorite part was when I danced.
Singing.
When the box drummers performed.

What did you learn?
I learned even though the slaves were stripped of their identity they found a way to connect a little to their culture. Also I learned that you can find a way to have fun with the little things you have.
I learned about how this music came to be and that the slaves communicated by using music.
They have joy in their souls. It made me very happy when I was mad.
I learned that music has more to do with it than just sounds.
That you can make music with simple things.
I learned that people use donkey jaws as an instrument.
I learned that every culture is different.
How talented they are.
How cool the culture is!
I learned that different cultures have different types of music.

What would you like to know more about?
I would like to learn more about the history of the Perú Negro’s ancestors while they were in Africa.
I would like to know more about when they took the slaves from Africa to Peru.
I would like to learn about other music from cultures and how they came to be.
I would like to learn more about the 1500s and the Africans.
I would like to know who made up those dances.
I would like to know how to speak Spanish so I could understand the songs more.
I would like to sing in Spanish.
Who some of the dancers represented.
How did the Africans make the notes?
I’d like to learn the names of all the different drums.
How the boxes made different noises in different spots.
The family background of the people in the group.
I would like to learn more about other cultures hopefully when I come again.
I would like to know more about where Perú Negro travels.

“I worked with the Waltham public school art and music teachers in conjunction with my Brandeis student teachers and children in the Rose Art Museum’s Hip Kids Program to develop absolutely gripping and enlivening teaching and learning explorations based on Peru Negro’s music. When the children had the opportunity to actually meet the performers before and after their concert in the student union, the children initiated an art activity between themselves and the musicians! To watch the musicians and children draw together was magical. The Brandeis student teachers witnessed and highly valued this rare intergenerational learning exchange, as well as the extraordinary life force and community-building engendered by such a spirited and high quality intercultural experience.”

- Brandeis Education Program faculty member.

Year by Year Reviews: 2006-2007 |2005-2006 | 2004-2005 | 2003-2004

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