In the Classroom is a new monthly feature created to give you an up-close look at Urban Gateways Teaching Artists in action. Each month, we’ll take you inside a different Chicago-area classroom, introduce you to the Urban Gateways Teaching Artist who is working there, and share with you the experiences of the teaching artist and their students.
In Fall 2009, teaching artist and musician John Knecht led a semester-long residency at Immaculate Conception School called Global Rhythms. John explored world percussion with first through fourth graders, connecting his lessons to music appreciation, reading notation, world cultures, sociology (concepts of community and identity) and literature.
The video below documents the residency through photos and the voices of students and teachers at Immaculate Conception.
What students learned through John’s residency:
“Before I was in John’s class, I thought community was a just a neighborhood… but now I’ve thought about a community in different cultures, and how music unites people together.”
“We’ve learned about how other places have different cultures, and how they celebrate; where they live, and how they are together; and all the different music they have.”
“I think I can be a better person. Cooperate with more people, and be more kind and caring and listen to what they have to say, not just what I say. It’s not all about me, it’s about everyone. And what they think and what I think, and how we can work off each other.”
Teachers’ testimonials about this residency:
“Surprisingly in a rhythm class, they’re getting geography skills. John is working in a lot of geography and other cultures …. so in addition to seeing kids rhythm skills develop, we can also see that the kids are remembering places that John has taken them in his residency and talking about them in other contexts.”
“I think UG in general is just a fantastic program. It presents art to the kids and teachers as more than just painting on paper. The arts, especially in this country, are underappreciated, so starting at such a young age and teaching kids that rhythm and dance and applied arts are all a part of the arts is just priceless.”