Dearborn Elementary Charter Academy

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Wendy Boksenbaum
General Music Specialist
Arts Education Branch/LAUSD

As a newcomer to Dearborn this year, I was excited to collaborate with all of the grade levels for our holiday show.  I was amazed at the level of knowledge the teachers showed choosing songs that were age appropriate for their students and their voices.  They had innovative ideas and their students came to me with excitement and wonderfully trained young voices.

During my first semester, I have been teaching the 2nd and 3rd grade classes.  We have been learning about melody and harmony by singing rounds and playing ostinato patterns on classroom instruments.  The teachers here at Dearborn are very willing to jump in and help the students as they learn how to play ostinato patterns to a steady beat while singing (sometimes in a different language!).

In my experience with LAUSD, it is sometimes a struggle to engage the classroom teachers in music lessons as they would rather use the time to grade papers or make copies or maybe just aren’t comfortable singing.  Here at Dearborn, there is a different feel among the staff and it is obvious that they share my love of the arts and have a strong desire for their students to experience the arts fully.

The Dearborn staff has proven that integrating the arts in their classroom is a priority and necessity.  It is part of the culture here that makes this school so successful and sought after. By prioritizing the use of the arts in their curriculum, the students are rewarded with a more comprehensive understanding of themselves and the subject matter being addressed.

The school culture here at Dearborn is rich with energy and enthusiasm for the arts and I consider myself lucky to be a part of it!