Published in The Hebrew Watchman on December 20, 2018
Last week, Bornblum students enjoyed a musical experience that had them clopping, tingling, and banging instruments together while they sang with professional country blues musician, Andy Cohen.
Cohen led high-energy sessions with kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth, and with our middle school students. Each session was highlighted by the stories told in the music he makes and the opportunities for our students to play and sing along with him.
Cohen’s visit to Bornblum is one of many experiences connected to the school’s year long theme of The Integration of Music Education in which classes are using music to explore a variety of curricular areas, many of which will be presented at Bornblum Music Fest, this year’s Curriculum Fair on January 31st. Sally Baer, Bornblum’s Assistant Head of School and General Studies Principal shared that, “The theme for this year’s Curriculum Fair was chosen to heighten student appreciation and knowledge of how music impacts culture today as it has throughout history. If any of our children choose to sing or learn to play an instrument as an offshoot of these experiences, it will be an added gift because music experiences positively affect brain development.”
At Bornblum’s Music Fest, students will perform with Bible Rap’s Matt Bar after learning with him for the days preceding the event. Each class will also have presentations ‘on stage’ highlighting the work they have done in their classrooms. One of these presentations will be the integration of science and music where students are studying and creating models of how sound travels through the human ear. Other ‘stages’ will show the correlation between vibrations and certain musical instruments, what the process of writing a song might look like, and what is the role of math in music.
Other events that our students have had or will have this school year as part of the theme include a middle school trip to the Blues Foundation, a visit by STAX to our Kindergarten, a visit by the Memphis Symphony, an Institute of Jewish Rock performance, and a session with the Jewish bluegrass duo Nefesh Mountain.
Additionally, a group of students will have several sessions with Andy Cohen who is working collaboratively with him to write then professionally record a new school song. When finished, the song will be taught to the rest of the school will be sung at school events for years to come!
According to Dan Weiss, Bornblum’s Head of School, “We are incredibly grateful to Barbara and Bruce Newman, long-time supporters of our school and parents of Alumni Allison (’02) Scott (’05), who have been with us every step of the way helping us create meaningful musical experiences for our students