"Ubuntu: I am because you are" is a quote that was an underlying theme in the workshop "Service-Learning, Ubuntu, and Choral Music: Transformative Music Education." When first arriving at this workshop, I didn't quite know what to expect, but I was immediately drawn in once it started. Out of no where, people began to sing one of the songs that they've sung on their trips to St. Lucia (we'll talk more about that in just a second) entitled "Istimela" or "the train." After a few times through, some of the presenter's students taught everyone in the workshop the song, four parts and all!
From that moment on, I knew the workshop was going to be something that I didn't want to miss. The idea of the workshop, that I took away from it, was that music is meant to be shared with everyone in every way. The two presenters, Dr. James Meaders and Dr. Alicia Walker, both talked about their different experiences in the area of Service-Learning and how they came to be collaborators in many events. One of these events is a trip to St. Lucia to bring music to students there as well as learn new music along the way. On these trips, Meaders and Walker and their students work with various groups of students on reading music, learning about the Western culture of music, and so much more.
This workshop has inspired me to really think about what I can do to create various partnerships in my own community as well as across the globe. Working with a church choir in your community or having a Skype session with another school is a simple way to start. What's your next step?
"Service learning is a tool that empowers students to solve problems."
-Caitlin Walton, Junior, Special Events Coordinator
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