Musical Explorers Digital
“Musical Explorers is designed to connect students in grades K–2 to rich and diverse musical communities as they build fundamental music skills through listening, singing, and moving to songs from all over the world.
The entire Musical Explorers curriculum is free and available for anyone to use, but registered users receive additional perks to aid in their teaching."
Musical Explorers Q and A with Gayle Winney
Q: What does Musical Explorers mean for your students?
A: Musical Explorers allows my students to engage with and learn from a diverse selection of professional musicians in their own classroom. Musical Explorers means that at some point students will see a little bit of themselves and culture in the curriculum, further connecting them to their school and community at large. Musical Explorers means access to music.
Q: What’s the value to you to teach music from countries around the world to your students?
A: Most of my students have never traveled except for their initial arrival to the United States. With Musical Explorers, I am happy to bring to them a little bit of the world. My philosophy is that knowledge leads to understanding, which in turn leads to acceptance. My hope is that the more my students know about other cultures, the more they will understand, welcome and embrace others who sit next to them. The most rewarding aspect of my job is that my students and I can have fun while achieving these very important objectives.
Q: Would you give us an example or two of students in your classroom and how they’ve been impacted by Musical Explorers.
A: On his first day of school, Alexis, a child who had just arrived from Mexico, decided to come to the music room after recess instead of returning to his regular classroom. I remembered him from the morning and recalled how happy he was that I spoke Spanish and that we were also singing in Spanish that day. We were studying music from Argentina in Spanish with Musical Explorer artists Sophia R. and Sophia T. After speaking with Alexis, I understood that he was feeling tired and frustrated and wanted to do something familiar for a while before returning to his class. I made a quick call to his classroom teacher and Alexis was able to spend an extra hour in music. Musical Explorers enabled Alexis to fully participate in his new school and country on his first day.
A: While I was showing one of the videos of Bongi and Tshidi singing South African Zulu Music, one of my students asked me if Bongi and Tshidi could see us. This demonstrates just how far reaching the power of music and of the teaching artist is to the hearts and minds of children.
Q: How has the digital platform helped you?
A: At Howe Avenue Elementary, the digital platform enables my students to meet musicians from around the world. They are also able to experience a highly interactive culminating event with a diverse group of experts without ever leaving our campus.
Q: Musical Explorers Digital ignites in my students the desire to explore the world of music. Students are inspired to pack their imaginary suitcases and travel with me and are delighted to see where our next musical journey take us. During the Olympic Games, political upheavals, and natural disasters, most of my students can pin-point geographical locations associated with events because we have learned about music from those parts of the world. I rejoice in taking my students out of their little cocoons and exposing them to the global community and the millions of gifts it has to offer.
A: The Music Explorers Digital platform is one of myriad ways Carnegie Hall shares free resources with the world. When we engage in resource sharing, we all win. Our students have access to resources most parents couldn't afford. At the same time, our communities develop present and future concert goers. More importantly, our students derive the emotional development, academic skills and discipline music education provides. At the end of the day, the teachers, school administrators, and school staff have fulfilled their duty to make the community a better place. Our students become well-rounded individuals better prepared for careers and college while the entire community at-large becomes the ultimate beneficiary.
Below Photo Credit: Kyle Rynicki, courtesy of Carnegie Hall