28 Apr The Music of Hope
Hope’s music class has been exceeding all expectations due to the passion of our qualified teacher, Ms. Lourdes Cossich, and the talent of our dedicated students.
Ms. Cossich, an alum of Eastman School of Music, was a young artist at the Academie de Villecroze in France and Foundation Euterpe in Spain, where she worked closely with world renowned mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza. In the spring of 2014, she participated in an apprenticeship with Joyce DiDonato. Her repertoire includes Despina (Cosi fan Tutte), Romilda (Xerxes), Mrs. Fiorentino (Street Scene) and Sister Antoine (Dialogues of the Carmelites). She is a superb teacher who commands the respect, admiration, and enthusiasm of her students. Her firm commitment to Hope Partnership and depth of professional experience have afforded us a precious opportunity to expand and strengthen our music program.
Our students have been exposed to different tonalities and meters since the beginning of the year. They started by figuring out the beat in songs ranging from pop to the baroque and moved on to listening for clues to determine if the songs were in duple meter (two small beats for every one big beat) or in triple meter (three small beats for every one big beat). From there, students moved on to experiencing tonalities and rhythms on instruments. Eighth graders used the keyboard and the rest of the school played the recorder. The recorder is a big tool in our classroom.
Students undergo melodic and rhythmic dictation for every song they learn for both melody and bass line. They know Kodaly hand signs, which are different hand signs for every solfege syllable. They do ensemble work, where they put melodies and bass lines together for every song they play. So far, they can play “Hot Cross Buns,” “Minor Triple,” “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” “Twinkle Twinkle,” “Go Tell Aunt Rhody,” and “Oh When the Saints.” In addition, fifth and sixth graders are able to change songs from major to minor and duple meter to triple meter within a few minutes. This is called transposition.
In addition to exploring the basics and multiple challenges of rhythm and tonality through the recorder and keyboard, students have started a music history unit. They are exploring different genres, instruments, musical examples, and characteristics from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Baroque, the Classical Period, the Romantic Period, and 20th Century.
A year from now, Ms. Cossich hopes to acquire brass and percussion instruments so students would be able to play the repertoire they know and improvise on them on more complex instruments. She would also hope for the students to become comfortable with mixed meter (duple and triple meter together) and dorian and mixolydian tonalities.
We are currently seeking funding for the brass and percussion instruments, as well as method books and scores. The current budget for the instruments and program materials is $66,000. If you are interested in funding a portion of the program, please call Samantha Brennan, Director of Development, at (215)232-5410 x104.
With the support of partners and friends like you, we can introduce our children to aural, visual, and kinesthetic experiences and understanding that they have never experienced.