Students skype about Arabic music with US third graders

November 1, 2016
Skype about Arabic Music with US third graders

King’s Academy, November 1, 2016 – Last week, 10 King’s Academy students and music teacher Nadine Cunningham brought Jordan to life for the third grade students at Charles E. Riley Elementary School (CER) in Oswego, New York.

The third graders have been studying world music from places such as Jamaica, Japan, Spain, China, and the Middle East. Their teacher, Ceara Windhausen, had met Cunningham over the summer when both took part in a music master’s program at Ithaca College, after which they decided to collaborate.

In their study unit, the third graders learn national anthems, instruments and styles of music, and even how to play or sing songs traditional to each of these cultures. In addition, they learn about the countries themselves.

“I’m looking to cultivate cultural understanding and awareness for my students and this [world music] project was the perfect way to do it,” Windhausen said. “My two main goals here are to create interest and spark kindness that will hopefully follow these kids outside of my classroom.”

Cunningham and Windhausen created an international lesson that could be taught through Skype. This included a question and answer session, sharing pictures of King’s and Jordan, and a lesson in Dabkeh dancing.  

As simple as the video chat was, it “made a world of difference in making the Middle East come to life for the young students,” Cunningham said.

CER Principal Dr. Linda Doty sat in on the lesson and noted the positive reaction and behavior of the students.

“What these two are doing is really special for our kids,” Doty said about the collaborative, global lesson.

CER students showed their appreciation to King’s by taking a class photo with a giant ‘thank you’ banner decorated with the Jordanian flag, King’s logo and shukran, the Arabic word for thank you.

Last updated
November 1, 2016