Youth in Arts is thrilled to welcome Megan Bober as our student board member! Megan has been a musician most of her life, she’s played the piano since age 7, but for years she didn’t like to perform in public. “In middle school, I discovered how happy singing made me, and wanted to do it as much as possible, but couldn’t figure out where to pursue my passion along with other kids like me” she said. That is when she discovered ‘Til Dawn, “In 8th grade I went to their spring show,” she recalls. “As soon as I saw them sing, and saw how much fun they had together, I set being a part of ‘Til Dawn as my goal.” Now a Junior at Redwood High School, Megan has been in the group 3 years and says, “’Til Dawn and Youth in Arts have been the most important part of my high school years. I have found a second family amongst kids and adults who are as passionate about music and singing as I am.”
Megan looks forward to working with the board, sharing her unique perspective and conveying, “how important music and art can be to the emotional and intellectual support and growth of people my age.” She has also learned a great deal about Youth in Arts’ advocacy work and, “became passionate about how the organization ensures young people throughout Marin have access to the arts.”
Megan was fortunate enough to have great arts access both at home, through her piano lessons and regular museum visits, and at San Domenico where she attended school from pre-K though 5th grade. “I was given art and music education every day,” she shares. “While at that time I was not pursuing singing, I believe the importance placed on art and music, and the exposure that I was given, laid the foundation for my intense interest in music now. I also think that my early art and music education helped me to be a more creative person in writing and performance.”
We are thankful to have Megan’s passion and creativity on the Youth in Arts board.
This year, I worked for 20 weeks with Linda Breakstone and Stacy Hall’s class, with students ages 5-10 with a wide range of learning, cognitive and physical disabilities. My strategy was to try to engage each and every student, focusing on routine and repetition. I’d always begin my class with the same opening song, go through a series of activity songs, and end the class with our “goodbye” song.
Music time with the kids consisted of interactive songs, identifying the sounds, and physical play (i.e.. Row your boat, Hokey Pokey, London Bridge). We use icons for non-verbal students so that they could make choices in the songs and activities. For example, for “The Wheels on the Bus”, we had photos of windshield wipers, a baby, windows, etc. When singing the song, students had the option to participate by holding up their icon.
Often, I’d bring in rhythm instruments. The highlight of this 20-week project was that my sister, Terry, came to share her trumpet on two separate occasions. Kids LOVED blowing the horn, pressing the valves and marching (those who could) to “The Saints Go Marching In”
The teachers seemed to really enjoy music time, noticing that it was the one time of week when all the kids, teachers and aides get together with no interruptions. It was a fun session, I look forward to having the opportunity to come back next fall!
YIA Mentor Artist, Olive School MCOE Special Day Class 2012-13