December 4, 2012

Rap Music Helping Kids In School?

Is hip-hop as credible and cherished in your everyday activities as it its for Koran Ray? Allow me to mix your perception for ten minutes.

I can’t rap.

Its one of the various skills that I never really gave much thought to when I was in grade school. I loved hip-hop though!!! I gave much of my musical harmony and happiness to the underground artists in New York and California-Mos Def and Talib Kweli. Kanye West and Common, Joey Badass and J Dilla. MF DOOM and Dangerdoom-even Asher Roth and Mac Miller caught my immediate attention!!!

Hip-Hop for me wasn’t about race relations, or even your group affiliation in school. It was about a collaborative and harmonious passion for the craft of lyricism and beauty in  instrumentals.

I believed in music as a language that spoke to me things that words just couldn’t communicate.

Its good music.

Writing, Painting, Animation, Film Directing-these were all passions that passed through my home with great welcome and respect. And as time passed my maturity and trust in these mediums as methods of learning skyrocketed. I learned to utilize the beauty of sentence structure and my own sarcastic nature in my diction-the result of course branching out to my need to story board and write my own short films and stories simply for the passion of it.

It looks like rap music is being used as a method of learning in the Chicago area for a lucky group of kids apart of the Rap to Roots program, which has gained a very decent amount of success and popularity in Colorado and parts of Cleveland. The program, sponsored by Shadow Hill Music Association and Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives, started just earlier this year. The goal, as it should be obvious by now, is to connect the roots of the children’s generations to school.

Quite an impressive method of teaching, if you ask me. Yes, its been quite obvious that using a program like this might have some inclusion of success-but I had absolutely no idea!!!

Not only does the program teach kids to learn mathematics and History with astonishing accuracy, it even encourages them to create their own labels and CD’s!!! I can’t imagine the happiness that Director Michael Schenkelberg must feel at the success. Schenkelberg started the program after schools districts-particularly inside the inner city areas of Denver and Cleveland had trashed the arts program in schools.

I remember when rumors of the  possibility of the deletion of the arts program began to spread when I was in the tenth grade. I was terrified!!! The arts, both theatrical and mechanical were seen as my only method of ambiguity and as understanding of the world around me.

You’d have to be completely honest: Understanding who you are  through different mediums is a wonderful way of  understanding a bit about yourself. For the longest time I swore to the heavens that Drawing was not my best suited method of artistic expression. I was very reluctant and adamant about my skill with the uses of charcoal and graphite-its quite intimidating to see the infinite amounts of realism and imagination that artists can juice out on boredom alone.

But through enduring fear and reluctance of my craft, my anger subsided and I grew very confidant and happy with the finished products of my work. It is that same battle that these children fight through to learn more about themselves.

One more method of artistic and educational collaboration achieved.

Cheers to them!

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