"I want my singers to be happy; that's what it means to keep people-first!"
This week, I spoke with Maria Ellis - Girl Conductor, entrepreneur, music educator, vocalist, and all-around wonderful human being. Maria is a popular clinician at choral workshops (and will be presenting at the ACDA Children's Choir Retreat in January!) and after listening to her passionate speaking for two seconds you'll understand why.
Through this episode, Maria and I converse about "remixing" music education, and diversifying instruction so that everyone can feel included. This sometimes requires setting aside the literacy competent to balance with aural skills, or really just feeling the music - a common style of learning in the Gospel tradition in which Maria's musical roots are planted. However, this also includes opening space for those who would like to learn foundational literacy skills later in life. Regardless, Maria teaches it, and does so without any judgement of her students. Additionally, Maria encourages everyone to not "other" any types or genres of music - especially music that has roots in America! Her perspective is a refreshing look at diversity, equity, and inclusion, and left me laughing, smiling, and inspired.
How are you remixing music education? How are you diversifying instruction to be sure that the melting pot of America is being reflected in your classroom? As Maria says, we can't wait for the textbooks to do it for us.
Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Facebook (@choralconnectivitypodcast), through the contact form on the website (choralconnectivity.com) or through my email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I want to hear from you!