November Newsletter
"I was stopped in the carpool line by a parent...linear thinker that usually is hard to engage with (as is her son). She excitedly told me that he had pulled out some drums at home that had gone unused for a long time. She was amazed that he played them with a more focused sense of purpose and technique, more thoughtful and crafted than she had seen before. These images and clips are clearly helping kids connect the dots, so to speak. Thank you! – Kathy, Middle School Music Teacher, Florida

November is Native American Heritage Month

Looking for a lesson for Native American Heritage Month? Music Workshop's Native American Traditional Music is a great option! Full of big sounds, handmade instruments and amazing musicians, Native American Traditional Music is used in ceremonies, storytelling, healing and much more. Your students will love learning about the beautiful sounds of Native American instruments and music.
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Teacher Advisory Group
Last Spring, we created a Teacher Advisory Group to help us gain knowledge about how we can improve the program to best serve you and your students. We were honored to welcome five teachers with well over 100 years of teaching experience between them. We worked together to explore improvements and brainstorm additions to our program. In the coming months, we will share more about the activities of this group - please contact us if you would like to participate - we hope you will join us!

Meet John
Meet our Program Assistant John Dunn. John is from Santa Ana, California and moved to Portland, Oregon to attend college at Lewis and Clark. He graduated with a degree in Philosophy. He began working with Music Workshop last fall. A welcome addition to the team, as Program Assistant he helps support you, our music teachers.  John, among other duties, reads all the feedback you provide from our courses. It's a big job! He has played music since a young age and studied guitar, bass, piano and sitar. 

Africa Courses
We are excitedly getting started on our newest courses! Music of Africa!
We are developing our next set of courses on the music and musical traditions of Africa. This continuation and expansion of our Culture Series will be a multi-course exploration of the music, heritage, sounds, styles and instruments of the continent of Africa. African music is ancient, rich and diverse. We are excited to share the sights, sounds, music and culture. We know your students will love learning about the music of Africa!

Advisor Spotlight: Damascus Kafumbe

We are honored to have Professor Kafumbe as an advisor on our upcoming courses on music from Africa

Damascus Kafumbe is a performing ethnomusicologist, teacher, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, composer and instrument technician from Uganda. He holds a B.A. in Music from Makerere University as well as an M.M. and Ph.D. in Musicology from Florida State University. He joined the Middlebury music faculty in 2011, Professor Kafumbe has developed and taught several courses in ethnomusicology and world music, directed the Middlebury African Music and Dance Ensemble, and maintained the College’s Ugandan musical instrument collection.

Professor Kafumbe specializes in the musics of East Africa. His research interests span diverse fields, including African studies, ethnomusicology, performance, history, politics, ritual, and social organization. He has published articles, reviews, and interviews in African MusicEthnomusicologyWorld of Music, and Yearbook for Traditional Music. He is knowledgeable about the construction and maintenance of many of the instruments he plays, and has served as an instrument technician and acquisitions consultant for the Musical Instrument Museum, Tallahassee Community College, Appalachian State University, Wabash College, Florida State University, and Indiana University. His music has been commissioned or published by Deer Pants Productions, Odd Freak Films, Endongo Records and Sony BMG.

Welcome Professor Kafumbe to the Music Workshop family!  
In our latest two courses on the music of Latin America & the Caribbean we use the term "enslaved Africans" when describing part of the history of Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. We thought we would take a moment to share why we chose to use this terminology. The phrase was new to us as well, but in the creation and development of the courses, we received the following information from our academic/cultural advisors on this course. The advisor is an educator, administrator and ethnomusicologist. 

"At present, the preferred terminology is "enslaved Africans" rather than "African slaves." The reason for this is the implication of agency. "African slaves" does not properly represent the essence of that person's being; "enslaved Africans" implies their manner of existence was imposed upon them." Here is an interesting article on the topic. 

We take the fact that we are providing education resources for our youngest students very seriously and strive to present the most up to date information, terms and performers. It is an ever evolving endeavor. We hope that this terminology will serve to educate and prompt thinking and examination of our world around us. Please feel free to reach out with your thoughts and/or concerns. 

Music Workshop is committed to:
            Including a diverse, equitable and inclusive representation of race, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education, and abilities in its program courses and governance;
            Promoting diversity, equity and inclusion as core mission goals and as critical to the music education content and pedagogy provided to program teachers and students;
            Understanding the need to review and address individual and structural biases and assumptions to provide program leadership that supports the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion in K-8 music education.
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