Assemblies, in-school residencies, after-school programs...
Wade In the Water
“Wade In the Water” takes audiences on a fantastic, interactive musical journey from Africa to the fields of America straight through to the Deep South where the Blues was born, all the way through to today.
This high-powered musical assembly program actively involves the audience through call-and-response and features audience members themselves as guest performers.
This celebration of American music will excite audiences and strengthen their appreciation of history and culture.
This music program will wrap up its journey with a song that audience members will collectively be involved in performing.
“Wade In the Water” is designed to create positivity, productivity and a deeper appreciation for the continuing history and the lasting legacy of American music.
The Journey is a presentation of African-American history through music, storytelling and spirit.
In this engaging and interactive assembly setting we will tell the story of the journey through songs that illuminate the history of our ancestors. Join us in an exploration of folk songs, spirituals and blues which have influenced America’s contemporary popular music.
From a first-person perspective, we will acknowledge an important part of America’s passionate and colorful history. Children and adults alike can discover traditional songs such as Follow the Drinking Gourd and Steal Away Home.
There is a place in this presentation for everybody. This is America’s history. This is OUR history.
I Dream a World
"I DREAM A WORLD, Music for Social Change" is a songwriting residency initiative that empowers youth through music, creativity and literacy, by creating songs of peace and anti-violence collaboratively.
This 5-10 day residency program gives students a powerful voice in one of the most primal and effective art forms.
The "I DREAM A WORLD" program, as delivered by music education group Raising Music, has successfully toured several schools from New Jersey, Philadelphia, Chester PA and Washington DC, resulting in moving performances of songs composed and performed by the students served, which were then fully produced on CD.
We will discuss song forms and structure, how songs are arranged and produced, and how lyrics are written to express a central theme while also rhyming and fitting within the phrasing established by the song structure. We will base our song themes on resolving conflict, both locally and globally, including some basic discussion of other cultures to instill empathy – other kids all over the world have struggles as well as joys; let’s find a way to relate to each other through song. “What would you like to say to other kids your age to let them know about yourself? What would you like to know about them? What would you tell global leaders if you had the chance? If you had the power, what changes would you make to your community, to your nation, to your world?” These are examples of some of the prompts we will use to get the kids inspired.
Benefits of this program include utilizing and honing literary skills, poetic and artistic devices (how to “turn a phrase” to make a line of words fit into a rhythmic or rhyming structure while still making your point and saying what you want to say), melody, harmony, musical arrangements, cross-cultural understanding, light socio-political understanding, respect for others’ ideas in the group as well as respect for oneself and one’s own ideas. “Put it out there and see if it works! If it doesn’t work we’ll try something else but you don’t know until you try!”
We are committed to continuing this powerful initiative. Our goal is to reach as many of our youth as possible.
Our world objective is to tour this program across the United States of America and eventually the world, serving as many schools, centers and kids as possible. We look forward to having YOU be part of this very important initiative!
Click the "Play" button to hear kindergarten kids from Cramp Elementary School in Philadelphia PA singing "If I Were President," which they wrote and performed together with lead instructor Pauline Houston McCall. The finished recording was produced by Robb McCall.
The schools that produced the highest academic achievement in the United States today are spending 20% to 30% of the day on the arts, with special emphasis on music.
International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IAEEA) Test, 1988
Music integrated into seventh- and eighth-grade social studies results in better subject performance and better social
behaviors and attitudes.
National Educational Longitudinal Study, 1988
When a child learns by experience that music forges direct links between self and world, self-expression becomes more
fluent; the music helps interpret "who I am."
Growing up Complete, the report of the
National Commission on Music Education, 1990
78% of Americans feel learning a musical instrument helps students perform better in other subjects.
Gallup Poll, "American Attitudes Toward Music," 2003
A Columbia University study revealed that students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident and better able to express their ideas. These benefits exist across socioeconomic levels.
The Arts Education Partnership, 1999
Students who were exposed to music-based lessons scored a full 100% higher on fractions tests than those who learned in the conventional manner.
Neurological Research, March 15, 1999
88% of Americans believe participation in music helps teach children discipline.
Gallup Poll, "American Attitudes Toward Music," 2003
The nation's top business executives agree that arts education programs can help repair weaknesses in American
education and better prepare workers for the 21st century.
The Changing Workplace is Changing Our View of Education, BusinessWeek, October 1996
U.S. Department of Education data show that students who report consistently high levels of involvement in instrumental
music during the middle- and high-school years show "significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12."
James Catterall, Richard Chapleau and John lwanaga, "Involvement in the Arts and Human Development, " 1999
“It's [music education] terribly important, extremely important -- because when you are a child, you are in a receptive age ... In high schools, public schools -- that's where they must have the best influence, the first influence, which will go through their whole life.”
Eugene Ormandy – conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra
About the importance of music and music education
Fantastical Musical Theater
This fun and highly interactive theater program will engage students from beginning to end in every possible way, from script writing to directing to stage and costume design. Students will also be empowered to write songs for the production they choose to do.
Fantasical Musical Theater will focus initially on rewriting classic plays, movies or even books, as each applies to the students' lives and communities.
Students will learn many techniques of theater including stage presence and stage direction, vocal range and dynamics, diction and physical movement, including miming. Students will be encouraged to use full artistic expression in the manner of street theater in order to include our community.
The main focus is to empower students to bring to life stories and scenes from classic plays, from contemporary to Shakespeare, in their own way and with their own style. Our final performance will culminate in a live performance, demonstrating all that they have learned and accomplished.
Students will enjoy a multicentric view of theater that fully encompasses their communities and themselves. Students will be given a choice of plays to choose from which they will then reconstruct to fit their lives.
The overall goal is for students to always have a positive and fun, expressive experience as they bring to life characters and scenes that connect with them and their lives.
Writing and literacy through theater has never been so much fun!
Rise Up Singing! (for Seniors)
This exciting and all-sensory music and movement class will involve seniors in interactive singing, dancing, songwriting and storytelling. Seniors will have grand time creating music accompanied by piano and guitar, using funny stories and beautiful life situations that have greatly moved them.
We will listen to Jazz, Swing, Pop and Soul from the past and even watch some concert clips of the greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong.
The main goal is to create a musical based upon real life stories from the seniors, to show some strong common threads between us all and connect them through the process of music, movement and drama.
11 Facts About Music Education (from DoSomething.org)
Children who study music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills than their peers who do not participate in music lessons.
Studying music primes the brain to comprehend speech in a noisy background.
Children with learning disabilities or dyslexia who tend to lose focus with more noise could benefit greatly from music lessons.
Research shows that music is to the brain as physical exercise is to the human body. Music tones the brain for auditory fitness and allows it to decipher between tone and pitch.
Children who study a musical instrument are more likely to excel in all of their studies, work better in teams, have enhanced critical thinking skills, stay in school, and pursue further education.
In the past, secondary students who participated in a music group at school reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs).
Schools with music programs have an estimated 90.2 percent graduation rate and 93.9 percent attendance rate compared to schools without music education who average 72.9 percent graduation and 84.9 percent attendance.
Regardless of socioeconomic status or school district, students who participate in high-quality music programs score 22 percent better on English and 20 percent better on Math standardized exams.
Much like expert technical skills, mastery in arts and humanities is closely correlated to high earnings.
A study from Columbia University revealed that students who study arts are more cooperative with their teachers and peers, have higher levels self-confidence, and are more equipped to express themselves and their ideas.
Elementary age children who are involved in music lessons show greater brain development and memory improvement within a year than children who receive no musical training.
Learning and mastering a musical instrument improves the way the brain breaks down and understands human language, making music students more apt to pick up a second language.
Private or Group Music Instruction
Lessons on guitar, bass, drums and keyboards are offered in both individual and group/classroom settings.
Any kid who plays any instrument will have fun being a part of a larger group of instrumentalists, comprising an orchestra. We will compose arrangements together of popular or traditional songs, or even excerpts of well-known classical works, arranged for whatever group of instruments we have.
Benefits of this program include reading and writing music, music theory, arrangement/orchestration including melodic substitutions (taking a flute line, for example, and playing it on violin or another instrument), group dynamics, ear training and ensemble performance.
We will learn both traditional (classic Motown or all the way back to spirituals and folk songs) and popular songs (kids choice but nothing inappropriate), learning about and utilizing melody, harmony, music theory and ear training. Instrumentalists who are uncomfortable singing but still want to be a part of this can join in to provide accompaniment – we will work on arrangements for their instruments to back up the vocalists. We will develop our own arrangement of each song, making it not just a “cover” but a new and unique interpretation of the song.
The benefits of this program are learning about music theory, arrangement, musical dynamics, ear training and ensemble singing/playing.
Dynamic Drum Circle
Using any type of hand drum, bucket drum or percussion instrument, we will focus on all elements of rhythm: meter, tempo, syncopation, time signatures and what exactly a “groove” is.
We will discover and discuss how rhythms traveled and blended with other cultures to create new musical styles.
In this highly interactive setting, participants are invited to share their own rhythms or a favorite beat and have the group jam on it.
PUDDLE JUMPERS! (for the little ones...!)
For your preschoolers, we have a very special music and movement program called Puddle Jumpers! Please click this link to go to our Puddle Jumpers website!