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Bridging the Distance: Online Education Resources
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Bridging the Distance: Online Education Resources

April 8, 2020

While we’re all practicing safe social distancing, we wanted to take this opportunity to share some of our educational programming – particularly for the young people, home-schooling caregivers, and educators in your world.

As many of you may know, LiveConnections and World Cafe Live recently merged to form one combined nonprofit. We’re eager to continue and expand the great educational and community work that we’ve built over the past 12 years – but in the meantime, here’s some content from our archives. These performances are joyful explorations of how music expresses cultures, crosses boundaries, and brings us together.

Below you’ll find Bridging the Distance, a video collection of highlights and full Bridge Sessions, plus a few other favorite moments of music with and for young people – and grownups! Each link features a brief description, an age range, and some curricular connections to help any educators out there.

Run time: 6:04

Suggested grades: 2-6

Artists: Elena Moon Park, violin; Ami Yares, guitar and vocals; Joe Tayoun, percussion

Themes: This session explores the diversity, themes, and spirit of folk music from a variety of cultures, including East Asia, the Middle East, and the U.S.

This excerpt features “Bint el Shabaliya,” a popular Lebanese folk song. The line “Ayyam aal baal bitaaiin itrouh” translates as “But these days are tough and they go”; “tough days come and go.” Resonant for the times! The excerpt also features a fun, interactive drumming exercise with Joe Tayoun.

Curricular connections: Cultural studies; how music expresses identity; lessons on rhythm

Run time: 3:58

Suggested grades: 2-8

Artists: Alex Shaw, pandeiro & berimbau; Francois Zayas, maracas; Doc Gibbs, congas

Themes: Alex Shaw breaks down the “language” of the pandeiro, in an activity students could try at home; Francois Zayas exhibits his mad maracas skills!

Curricular connections: Interactive music/rhythm lessons

Run time: 5:37

Suggested grades: 9-12

About: Award-winning spoken word poet Denice Frohman tells the story of how her grandparents met and fell in love and married. She speaks it in the voice of her grandmother, set to music by Andrew Lipke, performed by the Aizuri String Quartet.

Themes: Family history, poetry, interdisciplinary connections

Curricular connections: Lessons on poetry, personal narrative, oral history, music/text intersections

Run time: 3:15

Suggested grades: 2-6

About: We created this video as part of the album “A DAY IN MY LIFE” we made in partnership with Henry H. Houston School in 2016. This is some musical fun for anyone who needs to just shake it out a bit. It features a catchy beat, student-created lyrics, and the entire Houston student body dancing along.

Choreography: Student team “Black Illusion” (Samiah Dean, Samaria Dockery, Arlon Hart, Jasmine O’Connor and Nijah Rogers-Combs, 5th grade) with artist Lela Aisha Jones
Producer: Galea McGregor
Project lead artists/producers: Ezechial Thurman, Houston Music Specialist Teacher; Andrew Lipke & David Bradley, LiveConnections

Run time: 1:16:17

Suggested grades: 2-12

Artists: Doc Gibbs, Alex Shaw, Francois Zayas, percussion

Theme: A tour of percussion from around the world, from West Africa to the United States

Curricular connections: Cultural studies, world music, lessons on rhythm

Run time: 1:01:18

Suggested grades: 2-6

Artists: Yumi Kendall, cello; Luigi Mazzocchi, violin; Alex Shaw, percussion

Theme: From Bach to the Jackson 5 & Black-Eyed Peas, music that cultures have danced to over the centuries.

Curricular connections: Cultural studies (links music from different times/cultures), different musical genres (classical, Brazilian, world, pop/rock)

Run time: 1:14:12

Suggested grades: 2-8

Artists: Lela Aisha Jones, movement; Kwasi Burgee, Alex Shaw, Anssumane Silla—percussion

Theme: The intersection of movement and rhythm through polyrhythms, Brazilian capoeira, West African dance and hip-hop.

Curricular connections: World cultures, lessons in rhythm, dance, hip-hop

Run time: 55:13

Suggested grades: 2-6

Artists: Angie Zator-Nelson, percussion; Lisa Vaupel, violin; Andrew Lipke, guitar and vocals

Theme: All the ways rhythm is a part of our lives, how we hear it, feel it, and create it musically.

Curricular connections: Lessons on different musical styles, lessons on rhythm