Gustavo Vieyra, K-1 Teacher at 75th Street Elementary School, LAUSD May 7, 2004|
|Prof. Dennis Trembly||Dr. Rousseau||Miguel Campa, Principal|
|USC Thornton School of Music||District 1 Superintendent||75th Elementary School|
The Klimala-EffectA Proposed Early Childhood
Music Education Principle
During the past academic year, Anna Klimala has been teaching a music program to three different groups of children, Kindergarten to third grade at 75th Street Elementary School, Los Angeles Unified School District. Her own interpretation of the Orff and Kodaly early childhood music education and her entire program is, in the words of Mr. Campa, the school principal, "phenomenal."
In essence, Anna´s music program is extremely precise and effective. Her command of the Kodaly and Orff-Schulwerk principles is exceptional. For example, the K-1 children in my classroom learned with ease and enthusiasm: the activities were dynamic, challenging and inspiring, leading the children to sing and perform over 30 songs along with the corresponding music skills and abilities, which included the mastery of two music notes ( /so/ and /mi/ ), leading up to a third note, namely /fa/.
Also, from the testimony from the other teachers, it was obvious that the children loved Anna as teacher and as a caring individual, enjoying every second that they experienced with her wonderful personality and music program. Anna Klimala became a blessing from the sky!
As far as my own classroom is concerned, she also became so to speak the "talk of the town." "Ania," as the children preferred to call her, became the central theme on many a day, allowing me to emphasize several topics such as the days of the week or the sense of time, i.e. "O.K, children, sorry, but Ania is not coming today; she comes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12 to 1:00 P.M., etc." Thus, "Ania" became the inspiring figure of many classroom discussions dealing not just with music, but also with many related factors in the social and affective domain.
During the course of the program, especially in the last days, I was able to video-record a couple of her lessons. Thus, we now have some of her lessons recorded on a DVD format for your own pleasure and appreciation.
Please let me know if you are interested on viewing Anna´s "phenomenal" music program on a DVD. I will be happy to provide you with a copy.
At any rate, as a teacher in several low socioeconomic areas over the last decade, I have never seen a music program accomplish such deeds. The most that I have ever seen amounted to no more than a sort of "chanting" of some traditional songs, without a transcendental music education such as the one that Anna is offering. In fact, Anna´s program is so precise and effective that allows the children to master many other abilities indirectly related to music such as "number sense" or "phonemic awareness," which has become the focus of so much worldwide research and attention on initial reading and writing.
Anna´s program is a testimonial of the greatness and universal potential that music education has for the core of curricular research and application and as such deserves to be promoted not just at 75th Street Elementary School, but also throughout the world.
cc: parents, community leaders, school authorities and government officials