Kirtan: A Musical Meditation Workshop with Jim Gelcer * Pilot program 2017
Grades K to 8 |1 class/session, minimum 4 visits/class, visiting each class once per month | minimum 4 classes | limited availability
Health & Physical Education: Active Living, Movement Competence, Healthy Living
Kirtan has its origins in India centuries ago as an ancient spiritual practice in the form of call and response singing/chanting intended for the practitioner to reconnect with the divine and experience the oneness of all things. Today, this spiritual practice has also become a simple and powerful means of mindfulness meditation.
In this series of monthly visits, Jim artfully uses mash-ups of traditional mantras with all sorts of musical genres from Leonard Cohen to Bob Marley, and even the Black Eyed Peas, introducing students to this meditative practice. Starting with short simple mantras and through repetitive chanting build to longer sustained ones, students learn to quiet their minds in order to connect to their inner selves, and when their voices merge together to become one voice, they also experience the connection they have with each other.
Mapping the Heart
(in development Spring 2017)
Nature of Poetry with Sheniz Janmohamed
Grades 6 to 8 | from 2-4, half-days per class culminating in student performance |one class per session
Science: Life Cycles & Systems, Earth & Space / Geography / Citizenship Education
In this collective poetry writing exercise, students step into the natural world to discover and be inspired by local ecosystems and then work together to weave poetic phrases into a cohesive performance piece. Access to a natural setting such as a meadow, garden, pond, park or forested area is required.
Our Stories with Mariella Bertelli, Rita Cox, Marylyn Peringer, Esther Oshche, Itah Sadu, Dan Yashinsky
Grades JK to 8 | 45-60 minute performance for up to 150 students or classroom visits
Family stories and memories are the primary link to the DNA of our personal identity and the stories that have been passed on from generation to generation in the form of folk tales, legends and myths form our collective identity. MITS master storytellers bring their vast repertoire of stories to illustrate the concept of how our personal and collective stories form our identity as much as the cells that make up our physical selves.
Seven Sacred Grandfather Teachings with Esther Osche
Grades 3 to 8 | 2 storytelling visits/class | minimum 4 classes | limited availability
Social Studies: Heritage & Identity, People & Environments / History & Geography / Science: Life Systems / Health & Physical Education: Healthy Living
The First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples of North America were given Seven Sacred Teachings that form the foundation of their spirituality. The traditional concepts of respect and sharing that form the foundation of the Aboriginal way of life are built around these teachings where each teaching honours one of the basic virtues to achieve a full and healthy life and is represented by an animal whose characteristic serves to remind us of our connection to nature and to respect all living things.
This program brings Esther Osche into the classroom in partnership with Inner City Angels visual artist and sculptor Charmaine Lurch. Esther shares the Sacred Teachings to further students’ understanding of the interconnectedness of all things and the importance of balance and harmony in achieving a full and healthy life. Students listen to, discuss and reflect on the stories and then create a visual understanding of each.
Who Am I? with Sheniz Janmohamed
Grades 7,8 | spoken word | 45-60 minute performance with up to 150 students and 6-day series with introductory performance plus 4, 75-90 minute sessions per class culminating in student performance
“My heart lies in Africa/My spirit thrives in Canada/ My soul dreams of India” Sheniz speaks to her multicultural background, performing pieces that highlight the various cultures and traditions that make her who she is while providing an opportunity for students to reflect upon and celebrate their own diverse backgrounds and find strength in diversity. Following the performance, students can take part in a 5-day residency leading to a student showcase where students are given the opportunity to write and recite their own spoken word pieces reflecting on their learning of Identity while learning the art of recitation, gesture and delivery.
Yum, Yum! I am What I Eat with Ken Whiteley
Grades JK to 3, 4 to 8, 150 performance or 2 classes/session, maximum 3 sessions/day
Science: Life Cycles & Systems / Healthy Living
Ken is serving up a fun and exciting mix of musical styles in a menu full of food facts and concepts about healthy eating and healthy living. Through music and song, students celebrate the wonder of planting a seed and watching it grow, appreciate how food gets from farm to plate, understand how our food choices can make both ourselves and society healthier as well as learn about the food groups and the science of eating.