Music is a great way to connect! The Chatham High School music program was recently awarded one of forty grants provided by the New York State Farm Teacher Assist program, which supports innovative teaching ideas. Chatham’s Music Department has been focused on social-emotional learning (SEL) in and through music, recognizing that students need support now and in the future as their world has been turned upside down. This year’s classwork will culminate with The Empathy Project, in which students select an isolated person/group, prepare a piece of music to share, record or video conference to present to a selected audience, and reflect on the process and connection. The goal is for students to collaborate with their peers, no matter the physical barrier between them, and make a connection to their community. This $2,500 grant will help with the project by allowing the purchase of licensing for an online mixing program, several high quality microphones for recording, and two looping stations.
Choral teacher Samantha McShane and orchestra teacher Kate Jarrard spearheaded the effort to receive this grant and enhance our students’ abilities to create collaboratively. “We’re looking forward to showing them these tools and seeing where the students go with them,” remarked Ms. Jarrard.