Friday, February 1, 2013

Limerick Elementary School

In my humble career, I’ve been very blessed with experience(s) as a Performing Artist/Educator: A U.S. State Department Goodwill Ambassador to 8 West African Nations; A Recipient of The Kellogg Foundation Artist In Residency Program teaching Music History to the school districts of Kalamazoo & Battle Creek, Michigan; 

A Adjunct Professor of Electrical Bass Studies to five universities across the country; Contracted by the U.S. Department of Defense to teach on the Symbiotic Relationship between Music & Science at The DARPA(Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) Third International Conference on Modeling and Simulation of Microsystems; Contracted by State of California to teach a Multi-Ethnic Musicology course to the 3,985 inmates at Ironwood State Prison in Blythe California, etc;

However, nothing and I mean nothing gives me more professional fulfillment and emotional reward(s) than to teach to a classroom of Elementary School children. 

Today I was blessed to do just that by invitation from Randi Shapiro to give a Lecture/Demonstration performance for her Second Grade Class at Limerick Elementary School in Canoga Park California. 

For these future Scientists, Doctors, Engineers, Musicians, Teachers and every other noble profession, I performed Mozart, Bach, Scott Joplin, Fats Waller, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Duke Ellington, etc;

Then I gave them the opportunity to dance to the Calypso of Sonny Rollins’ “St. Thomas..." and then my Reggae version of “The Sesame Street Theme...” they were simply elated and did their liberated and free-spirited dancing like there was no tomorrow. 

If I had bunions and corns on my feet I would have been in some serious trouble as they were dancing all around

To see there smiles of joy and have the opportunity to answer some pretty amazing questions from some very keen young minds, tells me that the only thing one should ever bring into a classroom of precious Children from the outside world is a musical instrument of peace, warmth and organic creativity. 

Thank you so much Randi Shapiro for the invitation and GOD Bless You. IJPN.

-Russel Blake

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