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VISIONARY CORPS: Music Lesson - CECAM Mexico


The Music Lesson Continues!
The Music Lesson Program is about exploring the idea of music being THE international language that brings all people together regardless of culture.


Using the arts as a platform for cross-cultural educational exchanges between young people in developing countries and their peers in the western world.

The number of U.S. students that have participated in studyaboard programs has more than tripled over the past two decades and there hasbeen a 31% increase in the last ten years alone. Similarly, more than 700,000 international students came to the United States last year alone to study. Visionary Corps recognizes that the entire globe is more interconnected than ever before and it is crucial that students’ education reflects this and prepares them to be aware, active and responsible global citizens. Students that collaborate beyond their own demographic and across city borders, culture divides and even language barriers will be the students that are best prepared to actively interact in our globally interconnected world.

Visionary Corps appreciates the importance of experimental learning and uses a hands-on approach to foster an international curriculum. In addition to promoting dialogue between educational institutions internationally, Visionary Corps seeks to provide students around the world a forum for collaboration, discussion and interaction. Through our cross-cultural exchange programs high school and college students have the opportunity to experience the world first-hand and interact with their peers on an unprecedented, international level. While Visionary Corps’ exchanges are academic at their core, the programs are complimentary to everything they learn in the classroom. International experiences make the student more competitive for the college selection process and beyond, including careers in business, medicine, film, education, law, science, and engineering. In addition, educators who participate in the cross-cultural exchanges.



The first program was in association with The Chronicle of Higher Education and took place between students in Boston, MA and Laikipia,Kenya. The program was a success, resulting in a feature length film, titled "The Music Lesson", documenting the experience and connections that were made between the two groups of students and their communities. It premiered at National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, DC and at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The film was awarded the Edith Lando Peace Prize at the Real to Reel Youth Festival in Vancouver and went on to screen and win several awards at multiple film festivals across the world. It received educational distribution in the United States and was incorporated into an alternative teaching program titled "Lights, Camera, Literacy" which uses visual literacy as a pathway to written literacy.

WHAT’S NEXT?......

OAXACA,MEXICO |  April 2012

With the support of the First Lady of Oaxaca, Mané Sánchez Cámara, difoaxaca.gob.mx/sistema-dif/presidencia/, the OneTaste Collective in the UK www.onetaste.co.uk and students from Catholic Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts, we plan to launch our next program in April, 2012, high in the hills outside of Oaxaca City, within the small Mixe en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixe_people community of Tlahuitoltepec, Mexico. There we will begin an ongoing partnership with the CECAM Indigenous Music School, supporting their efforts to provide access to a world-class music education supported by a strong academic foundation. Currently the school is critically understaffed with 6 teachers for 188 students and the students do not have access to travel or interaction with their international peers.

To answer their call for teaching support we are implementing an an ongoing artist -in- residence program to help fill the teaching gaps. For our first visit set in April, we have engaged local professional musicians to work in partnership with professional musicians from OneTaste Collective in the England to spend several weeks evaluating, teaching and engaging with students and teachers so that. From that point on we will engage musicians and teachers for a constant rotation of teaching support to the school. In developing and throughout the life of the program we will be working together with the local community and government to ensure that the core curriculum standards are being met as well as implementing our own independent evaluations to measure the impact of the program. We will only be involved if there is complete transparency and the program is proving to have a measurable positive impact for the students and the community.

To initiate our student exchange component, we have invited students from Catholic Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts to kick off our first student exchange program.  Here we will offer both sets of students a change to share their culture, language and arts; to explore their similarities and foster the idea of appreciation and respect for their cultural differences. During the week the students will have a chance to attend classes with the local students, participate in music and arts classes, eat local food with families in the community, explore the arts and crafts of the indigenous Mixe and Zapotec culture and be fully immersed in the Mixe and Spanish language as most of the students and locals do not speak English. They will also have an opportunity to participate in a traditional Mexican drum circle and drum making class. The trip will come to a close with a trip into Oaxaca City for a large concert, hosted by Mane Sanchez Camara, the First Lady of Oaxaca, performed by various local famous musicians celebrating the rich musical heritage that Oaxaca is so famous for.

We are fortunate to have fiscal sponsorship through New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) which means any donation is 100% tax-deductible!  We are seeking donations in order to make the Music Lesson - MEXICO a reality.

We understand that not everyone can contribute financially, so here are some of the other ways you can help. Consider sharing this email with friends, sign up to volunteer at Visionary Corps, "Like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or hold a benefit screening of The Music Lesson at your home, school or community theater.

For more info contact info@visionarycorps.org">info

Your support throughout the life of the Music Lesson - KENYA was so instrumental in its success! We are very thankful for any support you gave us, whether monetarily or in watching the film.  If you are interested in supporting this future Music Lesson project, please visit NYWIFT to make your donation.

We appreciate your contributions and support, they will allow us to reach our goal and take the next step towards creating another successful program.

Thank you in advance!
Ginny, Federico, Kate, Peter, Duncan and Kimberly
The Music Lesson- India scout team

Meet The Team

Perhaps most exciting in addition to the fact that we are replicating this impactful program, is that several people who were instrumental in the Music Lesson KENYA are returning! 
Ginny Galloway (producer/director at Greenbox Films/co-founder of the Music Lesson Program/ member of The Society of Woman Geographers)
Peter McGovern  we are thrilled to have Peter back with us from the first Music Lesson-Kenya program! Peter graduated college last May and is currently working as a teacher and foreign exchange program coordinator in Boston. He is on board to assist in program development for the India and Mexico projects.
Duncan Bridgeman (Musician/1 Giant Leap co-director/ producer). Duncan contributed to the edit and musical score of the Music Lesson-Kenya film and will join us to direct, film and edit our short film for the India project.
Kimberly Skyrme (Producer/Casting Director, Wonder Wheel Entertainment/ Educator) the newest member of the team, who will be involved in developing the India, Mexico and future programs as well as field producing the media projects.


Join the conversation on Twitter: #nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts