Michael Trotta and Diana Gable, teachers at Clearview Regional Middle School in Mullica Hill (Gloucester County) understand that all children learn differently and that music can play an important role in their lives. Thanks to a $3,249 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education, 400 third, fourth, and sixth grade students will have the opportunity learn about music in different countries while they meet the meet the NJ State Visual and Performing Arts Core Curriculum Standards. Trotta?s project, Everyone Experiences the Music, addresses the variety of learning styles of children at the elementary school level and provides alternative experiences leading to intellectual understanding.
Recognizing that rhythm is a fundamental building block for music, students will learn to play instruments from India, Africa, Latin America, Israel, and Native America. Students will be exposed to the history and culture of the various countries, and compose and perform their own musical pieces for peers and parents at a PTA-sponsored meeting. In addition, the teaching staff will participate in a series of professional development experiences centered on the project so all classes in the school will benefit from the experience.
The project and its activities will enhance fine and gross motor skills; build upon the Character Counts district initiatives; help students develop strong listening skills; enjoy increased self-esteem through performances of their compositions; and strengthen critical thinking, self-management, and safety skills.
In addition to the grant from the Hipp Foundation, Trotta has secured in-kind donations totaling $8,000 from the school district and through private donations.
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