The beginning of the school year is all about retraining muscle memory and rebuilding music reading schools, but my teacher also uses this time to create a culturally responsive classroom by bringing in diverse music to support the learning. My teacher uses this period of drills and assessments to introduce to students music from different cultures and time periods; we warm up our bow holds with diverse music: lots of Micheal Jackson, Polynesian music, Irish music, etc… As for place based learning, we are working on some concerts throughout the community; Holiday Pops with the Lyric Opera, Culture Night performances, and 8th grade orchestra is performing at the Heritage Festival at Disneyland!!!
I can’t give the school a high score for being culturally responsive; at the beginning of the school year I learned that the Native Culture Group (I am not completely sure of the name) was cut from the school, so there are few language or cultural groups for native students on campus (I did just see a flyer for an after school weaving class, so I can’t say there is absolutely nothing). It is such a shift from the elementary school that I teach at; in elementary school, there are Tlingit phrases and names posted throughout the school, an after school Tlingit dance group, and I hear Tlingit phrases being used over the intercom and by many teachers throughout the school. Unfortunately there is little of that in this middle school.