So this was a super exciting thing for me and something I'm extremely proud of...a project I've been quietly working on with Earthtones for several years now has come to fruition. It's called WhyMusic In Schools and it's based around a curriculum of using technology and music as social emotional learning tools (SEL) for children at a critical age in their development. In this case it was 6th graders, and after years of putting the thing together, we just got a chance to test it in the Los Angeles Unified School District Incubator School for the first time over the past two weeks. The results? Spectacular!
Watching these kids go from being timid and closed off to exuberant and completely open within the course of a few school days because of music, art and meditation is one of the most amazing things one can witness. They got to participate in meditation exercises, yoga, anti-bullying management techniques, and coping techniques all with music and art threading it all together. Over the course of the program, they spent time coming up with decorations and practicing on individual drums that they eventually brought to one big gong on the final day, decorating it with ribbons displaying their intentions, and culminating in an intense and massive drum circle to close out the session. The transformation in these kids over the course of the program has been insane and really just helps validate why we need more arts programs in schools rather than less.
Grammy-nominated producer Frank Fitzpatrick is the tireless & brilliant mind behind the thing, and I couldn't be more proud of how ridiculously successful our first real world test was and how grateful I am to Frank and the Earthtones team for allowing me to be a part of it. We've spent well over 3 years creating videos, technological tools, TEDx talks, presentations, pitches and building the proper relationships to lay down the groundwork for this to be a real world possibility, and to see it culminate in 60 smiling faces who have been touched by the power of The 3M Revolution - music, meditation, & movement - is the greatest gift we could have asked for. The proof of concept has been proven.
If you'd like to get involved, I STRONGLY encourage you to visit www.WhyMusicInSchools.com for more info on the program and what we've put together and what the next steps will be.