“Music as a vehicle for Student Voice”, “PIECES”
Prince Georges Public Schools – Online Campus – MUSIC
Prince Georges County Public Schools
Temple Hills, Maryland
This advocacy initiative focus is to bring awareness of and secure help for students to navigate the challenges of their new school online learning/environment, using Music as a vehicle for Student voice. It was birthed through recognizing the need for students to talk about their challenges, feelings, how they are coping in online learning environment during the COVID pandemic. In support of this initiative will be original creative arts products such as the mini musical docu-play-‘PIECES”- along with a Preview video- about students’ learning, living and coping during the onset of the COVID pandemic.
The objectives of my Advocacy initiative are to bring awareness of and secure help for students to successfully navigate the challenges of their new school learning/environment, and to memorialize the occurrence of the COVID pandemic’s impact on the schooling and educating of our children. Through utilization of Music as a vehicle for Student voice, music productions such as “PIECES”, and other music creations will be utilized as avenues fostering individual, community, organizational, and general public support for helping our students obtain their daily schooling in a safe, less stressful, and more understanding manner.
The target audience of this advocacy initiative is National and Local Education organizations and Associations, Education Advocacy Organizations, Foundations, School Systems, Educators, Parents, Local Communities across the country, Educational Software Companies and entities that advocate and support for the Mental Health of Students.
The overall timeline of this initiative was to begin during the 2nd half of the founding School year to share the vision with the students and create initial projects to showcase some of the needs of the students. Subsequent presentations such as a play and other music offerings would be created and presented to the public in an ongoing basis.
Overview of Planning and Execution
The initiative was planned by myself, with support from the Online Art Educator, Digital Production Artist, Students who performed Vocally, as Speakers in the Film, and Visual Artists, 1 Vocalist (external), 1 Voice Over Artist, and 1 Script Editor.
Tools and Resources
Software: Logic Pro X (Music), Final Cut Pro (video), Digital Script Editor Service; Electronic Midi Keyboard, cellphone, iMac computer, Youtube Channel, ZOOM; emails, flyer.
Marketing and Promotion
To begin promoting this initiative, I created a Preview Video showcasing some of the highlights of the musical and posted this on You/Tube for viewing by Educators and Parents. We received very good comments and support from parents and administrators. However, this part of the initiative was not ready for release until the end of the school year. I am now in the process of determining best ways to market and promote this initiative.
Expenditures To date (January – June 2022):
Software and Technical: (To create original music, script, and video for initiative support)
Final Draft: $ 249.99
Script Edit Service (Film &Play Formatting) 270.00
Arturia Keylab 61 MKii 549.00
Copyright Fee: 199.00
I experienced the challenge of obtaining student participation in putting on the musical playlet because of their very rigorous online academic schedules, an abundance of homework and the school-wide standardized testing schedule; these took much of the student’s time. Many students wanted to participate in the production but just didn’t have the time to do so, as well as having to concentrate on their grades and online platform curriculum requirements they were tasked with. Also, because of the pandemic, there were challenges experienced by students with health issues in their homes, causing time out of school.
There is minimal data available to date because the initiative was just launched the June 25, 2022.
So far I have received supporting comments from educators in my building, administrator, and parents who have viewed the preview and see the need of the children and the importance to have others be made aware of the issues, with hopes to receive help wherever help can be given. Also, parents were very happy to see their children speak out about what they were experiencing as well as be active in Music as an avenue of expressing their thoughts, feelings, and talent in a time when they saw their children daily just doing school work at a computer screen. I believe that as more Educators, Parents, those in the local community as well as Educators and Educational Organizations are made aware of the issues and concerns that our online students face, that there will be support and offers will be offered to help the students.
Advice for others?
I believe this project can be presented in many communities, and that it will capture the attention and hearts to help of those who hear the cause as see the supporting projects. The script of “PIECES” can be secured for a community production or short film. Plan time & get support for marketing.