During the 2012-2013 school year, the New Brunswick Registered Music Teachers Association, invited schools across New Brunswick to submit a proposal for a $500 scholarship to be used in their school to complete a “wish list” project.
Project ideas could be one of the following, or something different:
♫ improve/enhance the music room itself
♫ help purchase uniforms
♫ help purchase orchestra/band instruments
♫ purchase new music
♫ aid financially in a band/choir participating in an unique performance opportunity
The number of students involved, originality, the impact on the community and need would be factors in deciding the winning project.
The school with the winning proposal was Beat from the Heart as presented by Jennifer Russell, music teacher at the Fairvale Elementary School.
2013 NBRMTA School Scholarship Presented
On Thursday, June 20, 2013, Past President, Kilby Hume, presented a cheque for $500 to Fairvale Elementary School. Receiving the award on behalf of the school was music teacher, Jennifer Russell [far left] and Vice Principal Julie McNamee [middle]. The money was used to fund a presentation by Carlos Gomes on native drumming.
School Scholarship Summary Report
The Beat from the Heart project was inspired by a 6 week class on building and healing the self with a native drum. The course was led by Carlos Gomes who shared the process of building a drum, as well as the ceremony and responsibilities required of a drum carrier.
Carlos is a Native Elder. He was born in to a tribe in the Amazon where he lived until he was 14. He and his family escaped the jungle when soldiers came in search of gold and destroyed and murdered all that got in their way. He moved to Canada with his family, where they lived with the Mic Mac and Maliseet tribes.
With the $500 music scholarship the New Brunswick Registered Music Teachers Association awarded to Fairvale Elementary, we were able to have Carlos Gomes visit our school for a day. He met with grades 2-5; 17 classes and approximately 400 students. He spent 45-60 minutes with each presentation.
Once Carlos began to speak, the students were completely attentive. The majority of our students had never met anyone like him before. They learned Maliseet songs that were over 300 years old. Carlos shared legends from his community (from Maliseet and the Amazon). He told students what life in the jungle was like, and how different life was when he moved to Canada. Students learned about the social structure and Government of First Nations. Through his stories of experience, students learned about the importance of community and working together and much more.
After each presentation, students and teachers would wait behind and talk and ask Carlos questions. Some classes were already studying First Nations in Social Studies and were able to connect the presentation in the classroom. Others teachers used the different places Carlos had lived as a geography lesson. Some teachers used the presentation as a way to create meaningful writing through journals.
Overall, the presentation created a wonderful atmosphere for authentic singing and learning that will stay with the students for many years to come - more than any text book could have done.