After three months of exploring the science of music and sound, students displayed their works of art at MOCA Cleveland: powered speakers, recorded rap songs and live performances of their community action “message.” Lessons from science, art, math, social studies, English, engineering, and music unite to create the experiential learning needed for each group of four students to build a battery operated speaker, record rap song from their persuasive essays and perform the songs on stage.
Dee Jay Doc's role as artist in residence was to help each group of students produce their own recorded song that amplified their community action project. While they wrote essays and debated their positions in Social Studies and English, Doc guided a rap writing process to craft each message into song. Each group learned to create and arrange their own beats using digital software and prepare for the vocal recording experience. Most students entered the portable recording booth with looks of intrigue, nervousness and a little fear, but they left with big smiles. After having the experience of a recording artist and realizing how good they can sound rapping over their own beats, they became confident and even proud of their new found sound.
At the final performance, surrounded by their speakers, as well as family, friends and school staff, they experienced another roller coaster of emotions. The natural nervousness and even stage fright turned into passion as their music began playing through the sound system and they confidently rapped their message to excited ears. As they walked off stage, even bigger smiles were on their faces showing the feeling of accomplishment and relief after a job well done.
It was a pleasure to work with these students and see their messages come to life.