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Making Music at Ocean View!

Kindergarteners at Ocean View Elementary are making music!

As a mother, educator, performer and Program Director at Youth in Arts, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to play with our young students in Albany.  Students in every TK (Transitional Kindergarten), K and K-1 class at Ocean View (and the Albany Children’s Center) are playing, singing and dancing during our 10 week music program.

Singing Solfége - Do!

Singing Solfége – Do!

We started out exploring the many different sounds we can make with our bodies: clapping, tapping, snapping, sliding, singing, talking, etc.  Students came up with their “name rhythm”, making a percussive sound for every syllable in their name and we put them together to make music!  We have learned to warm up our voices with different sounds and practicing “solfége”, learning about pitch and volume.  We have applied this to singing fun songs about friends, movements, emotions.  I have caught more than one parent humming the tune to one of the songs we sing in class because students sing them at home too!NGonzalez

We definitely keep moving, dancing to the funky beat of my “cajón”, isolating body parts and moving to different types of beats. Students have learned about keeping a steady beat and playing different rhythms with their bodies and with an assortment of percussion instruments including shaker, rhythm sticks and drums.

Both of my children are students at Ocean View and one of the many beautiful attributes of our school is the wealth of diversity of our families.  In honoring this, we sing our “Hello My Friend” song in as many languages as we can! Students have taught us to sing it in Hebrew, Portuguese, Mandarin, Korean, Arabic, Japanese and Spanish amongst other languages.  We are also in the midst of writing a song about appreciating our differences called “We Are Different in Beautiful Ways”.

Dancing to the beat!

Dancing to the beat!

It has been such an honor to work with every teacher at Ocean View and witness how each one of them incorporates singing and movement into every school day.  Our students are very happy about making music and we are eager to share our love for music with our families and friends during our culminating event in April.
In the meanwhile, keep singing!

Nydia Algazzali Gonzalez

YIA Mentor Artist & Program Director


Mary Silveira, Weeks 12-15

Mentor Artist Gabrielle Gamboa provided this update on our art and science integration program at Mary Silveira school. Artwork from this program was featured in December-January at YIA Gallery as part of our “Imaginary Voyages” exhibit.

After creative warm-up exercises, such as “Connect-The-Dot Creatures” and “Mandala Making”, Mary Silveira 5th graders have been adding to their “Imaginary Island” exploration journals. We learned some techniques for drawing and shading in one-point and two-point linear perspective to illustrate island locations, as part of a continuing adventure story that each student is creating.

And since one session happened to take place on Valentines Day, we took a break to make mixed-media greeting cards and gifts!

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Neil Cummins Students at YIA Gallery

Neil Cummins Elementary students from Ms. Suther and Ms. Marcus’s class visited YIA Gallery at Youth in Arts to explore the “Imaginary Voyages” exhibit of work by Mary Silveira students with Mentor Artist Gabrielle Gamboa. The students also created their own artwork in our Studio.

Youth in Arts staff talked with students about how scientific illustrators use both their powers of observation (like all scientists and artists) and their imaginations (like all scientists and artists!) Neil Cummins students then took inspiration from Mary Silveira students’ detailed “scientific” island maps, imagining what it would be like to land on each island and what kinds of creatures they might meet there.

We talked about perspective and the difference between a “Bird’s Eye” view (as in the Mary Silveira maps) and a close up view. Neil Cummins students then created paintings of the creatures they had imagined in a close up view. Enjoy a gallery of their work below!

“Imaginary Voyages” was featured at YIA Gallery from December 14 through January 30. To find out more about how your students can have their work exhibited at one of the only children’s art galleries in the U.S., contact Suzanne Joyal.

Our new exhibit “Carnival” featuring work by Laurel Dell students opened on February 14. Visit Monday-Friday from 10-4 or contact us about arranging a free school group tour for your class or youth group. All tours include a hands-on arts activity.