Posted Date: 05/17/2017
Students at Marion Intermediate School celebrated a collaborative teaching unit flavored with jazz, blues and Mardi Gras masks. Music teacher Barry Bates said he got the idea during a Delta Arts Educator Workshop last June that combined music, art and library to help students better understand the culture of New Orleans, the "second line" band and blues music. Art teacher Courtney Sharp introduced the unit by teaching about Mardi Gras and then allowing students to create and make their own masks and umbrellas to be used in the final parade. In music, students learned about the different types of instruments and how often we celebrate events with people of different background. Students had the chance to create their own chant to go along with the Mighty Souls Band music. In library there were stories made available of the different blues musicians and about music in New Orleans. Using the Lincoln Institute's Inquiry Based Learning model, the lessons were taught ahead of time so that students would be prepared for what they were going to hear during the performance. Bates said the effort paid off as expected and that students were more engaged and were a more intelligent audience because of the prior exposure before the concert.
--Photos by Mike Douglas