From September 2014 to January 2015, Performing Arts Abroad is hosting a family of four in the Galapagos Islands for a music volunteer program. This family is no newcomer to the idea…they have played together for years as “Kentucky T. Dutchersmith and the Rubber Band” and lived abroad in Mexico for a six-week service learning project several years ago. The father, Kent, is a music teacher in the school system of Goshen, Indiana. On PAA’s program, the Dutchersmith family plans to work with land tortoises and conservation work some mornings, and volunteer with music activities in the afternoons. Enjoy this special series as we follow this family’s musical adventure in the Galapagos!
Monday we started teaching music classes at the project office in the mornings since all schools here have a two-week vacation this week and next week. And after vacation we will continue teaching at the preschool and do the classes that we are doing right now in the afternoons instead.
The afternoon classes will each be one hour long instead of one and a half each. We are teaching two classes, one class is ages 5-8 and the other class is ages 9-14. There are about 15-18 kids in each class. The younger class had been about 23 kids but then they took out three and four year olds because they thought there were too many and it was a big age range to work with.
With both groups we are doing stick games, body percussion, dances (mostly in Spanish), singing games, singing, and percussion making (out of trash).
We are also teaching the older group to play the recorder. We found lots of bamboo on the side of the road and so we chopped it up and took it home to make instruments out of it.
We chopped the smaller bamboo into sticks to play stick games and we’re making guiros and wood blocks out of the thicker bamboo. We also are getting small scarves made in colors of the ocean for dances in the classes.
So far the classes are going great!
Written by Luisa, age 13
Daughter of the Dutchersmith family, music volunteers in the Galapagos Islands