Bomani and students use poetry to address bullying

Bomani@Empowerment Academy_Dec2013

Young Audiences Hip Hop poet Bomani recently visited Empowerment Academy Elementary/Middle for an assembly and workshop to teach students the elements of writing Hip Hop music and its parallels to poetry- and essay-writing while also addressing the subject of anti-bullying. Following the assembly, Open Mic, students worked with Bomani to use the techniques demonstrated in his performance to write their own Hip Hop poem about how to handle bullying inside and outside of school. One teacher shared: “Students were pleasantly surprised at their ability to write poetry, and became more adamant about stopping bullying.”

The assembly and workshop were made possible through the Young Audiences Access for All Initiative which makes Young Audiences artists and programs available to high-need Baltimore City Public Schools at up to 80 percent off of the cost. This opportunity helps principals with limited resources provide hands-on learning in the arts that supplements and enriches the curriculum.

The following day, three students volunteered to share their finished poem with the student body over the school intercom. Read the full poem below!

No Bullies!

When there is bullying, don’t just be a bystander,
Better not mess with a Marylander!

Find an adult who is trustworthy,
So the bully will not continue to hurt me!

There is verbal, physical, cyber, and exclusion,
Don’t do any of these. Use inclusion!

Bullies cause a lot of confusion,
Everyone must help to find a solution!

This is just one example of how Young Audiences artists connect fine arts, the curriculum, and important 21st Century skills to impact how students see themselves and relate to others.

Learn more about Bomani’s assembly and residency programs here!

Uncle Devin shares TAI residency success!

First Grade Teacher Judith Pirela and YA musician Uncle Devin were paired together as a part of the 2013 TAI Seminar to co-create an artist-in-residency program.
First Grade Teacher Judith Pirela and YA musician Uncle Devin were paired together as a part of the 2013 TAI Seminar to co-create an artist-in-residency program.

The following content first appeared in the December 2013 edition of Uncle Devin’s Drum Beat Newsletter:

For four days in November, it was my pleasure to conduct an artist-in-residence program with a first grade class at Germantown Elementary School in Annapolis. The program was my field test that I am required to complete as a student of the Teaching Artist Institute (TAI), developed by Young Audiences, the Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance (AEMS), and the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC).

TAI is a comprehensive professional development program for teaching artists that builds the artists’ capacity to contribute to student learning in and through the arts. The program trains teaching artists in the use and understanding of the state curriculum and the Common Core Standards, as well as arts integration strategies to assist the artist in engaging teachers and students.

Through TAI, I was paired with Judith Pirela, a first grade teacher at Germantown Elementary School and, for four days (at least 45 minutes per class), I went into her class to test my residency plan entitled, “The World of Percussion!” After developing my residency plan, I then had to develop four separate lesson plans. My four days of lessons taught children how:

    • To classify classroom instruments by sight and sound, such as wood blocks, triangles, rhythm sticks, maracas, guiros, jingle bells, sand blocks, cymbals, tambourines, and hand drums;
    • To compare musical sounds (i.e. fast/slow, loud/quiet, long/short, high/low);
    • Different cultures created codes to communicate through beats and rhythms; and
    • To make their own percussion instruments.

    It was great working with Ms. Pirela, her students, and all of the staff at Germantown Elementary School. I want to also thank TAI Music Specialist Sue Trainor, who guided me through the entire process and provided me with excellent feedback. The TAI program ends on February 1, 2014 with a Program Evaluation and Reflection event, at which time I hope to become one of the newest graduates of TAI.

    Some of the instruments the first graders created during the residency.
    Some of the instruments the first graders created during the residency.

    Read the rest of Uncle Devin’s December enewsletter here. You can learn more about Uncle Devin on Young Audiences’ website and at www.theuncledevinshow.com.