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Exploring Culture Through Music at Maroun Elementary School

Michael A. Maroun Elementary School, in conjunction with grant funds received from Target Stores, welcomed performer and teaching artist Dave Ruch to the school recently.

Performer and teaching artist Dave Ruch shows the students at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School how to play the tabla, a traditional Indian percussion instrument. Ruch took students a world-wide adventure, using music and song to learn about various countries and cultures.
Performer and teaching artist Dave Ruch shows the students at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School how to play the tabla, a traditional Indian percussion instrument. Ruch took students a world-wide adventure, using music and song to learn about various countries and cultures.

His visit coincided with National Music In Our Schools Month and gave students an opportunity to learn about various countries, communities and cultures through music.

Ruch hosted two school-wide performances were he took Phoenix students on a musical adventure to India, Africa, and Russia and had the students singing songs in various languages and native tongues. He also brought with him a few unique instruments including a traditional Indian percussion instrument known as a tabla, an African stringed instrument, and a jaw harp.

As an extension to his school-wide performances, Ruch was invited to spend extra time with each of the school’s third grade classes.

This time was spent exploring more in depth the similarities between people in Phoenix, New York and those living in central Africa in the country of Chad and also facts about Chad that make it unique.

The students in Desiree Moore’s third grade class at Maroun Elementary School sing an original song that they wrote with performer and teaching artist Dave Ruch. Pictured here with the school’s music teacher Jody Lentz,. Ruch gave a school-wide presentation where he took students on a learning adventure using music and song and then he spent some individual time with the school’s third grade classes. Third graders at the school have been learning about cultures and communities of the world and they wrote an original song with  Ruch that compared their life in Phoenix, New York with that of a child living in central Africa in the country of Chad.
The students in Desiree Moore’s third grade class at Maroun Elementary School sing an original song that they wrote with performer and teaching artist Dave Ruch. Pictured here with the school’s music teacher Jody Lentz,. Ruch gave a school-wide presentation where he took students on a learning adventure using music and song and then he spent some individual time with the school’s third grade classes. Third graders at the school have been learning about cultures and communities of the world and they wrote an original song with Ruch that compared their life in Phoenix, New York with that of a child living in central Africa in the country of Chad.

Through the new common core curriculum third grade students have been learning more about the world around them, including the country of Chad and the children who live there.

Each third grade class wrote a song about the similarities between the two, set to the beat of a traditional African folk song entitled “Everybody Loves Saturday Night.”

The students came up with lyrics that summarize the things that people who come from two very different countries and cultures might have in common. Each song featured lyrics mentioning family, games, music, laughter, and favorite foods.

Each class recorded the final version of their song and Ruch compiled the songs to a CD for each classroom to have as a keepsake of their learning adventure.