During the first two weeks of April, eleven Berklee students visited several CMCB School Program classes as Guest Teaching Artists. This was a collaboration between CMCB’s Community Engagement Program and Berklee’s DEI and Community Relations departments.
Earlier in the year, Berklee approached CMCB explaining how their students were using arts to create videos highlighting Black history and Black artists. While this content was interesting and informative, the students wanted to do something more to incorporate a service element into their work. After discussions with Chris Perry, the senior director of Community Engagement Programs, these Berklee students volunteered to create 8 30-minute workshops to share with our students in an interactive and engaging way.
CMCB provided guidelines on content and best practices for working with students and our Teaching Artists were on-hand to provide support for the guest teachers. The workshops had a variety of themes and focused on interactive play.
Mar Fayos (BGJI Master’s in Jazz Voice, class of 2021) presented a workshop on music and social change to a 1st grade General Music class at the Adams Elementary School. Mar says, “I enjoyed learning about social issues [the students] would like to change and discover their passion about protecting nature and creating songs to encourage it.” In her workshop, students learned how to write songs for social justice.
I enjoyed learning about social issues [the students] would like to change…Mar Fayos, Berklee Student
In another workshop, a Berklee student used clips from Disney movies to show how music is played to express a variety of emotions. In another workshop, Steps to Composition in Film, students learned about three prominent Black film composers and the wide variety of film genres for which those composers wrote music.
Fisher Thompson (Contemporary Writing & Production, class of 2024), co-lead a workshop with Neha Jamthe (Professional Music, class of 2024) on Listening Games with a 1st grade General Music class at the Adams Elementary School. Fisher says, “It is so valuable (especially in these trying times) to be able to communicate meaningfully with ANYONE of ANY age, and it definitely was good practice (especially in a Zoom environment!)”
Akela Franklin, General Music Teaching Artist at the Adams Elementary school, said, “I just really loved seeing how excited the kids were to have a new person in class who was there just for them. There was a lot of increased participation… I also loved to see some of the students getting fired up and having strong opinions about some of the issues that were discussed.”
A group of students from the Adams Elementary School said that their favorite part of the Listening Games workshop was to play the Freeze Dancing game!
We are grateful to Berklee for their partnership and for providing our students with new and exciting experiences.