Whenever I can, I slip into a classroom to catch one of Mariano’s music sessions. My favorite part comes when the children are given instruments and noisemakers and encouraged to play along. What’s remarkable about this exercise is not the joyous cacophony, but the moments of synchrony—when the group falls into a rhythm, the mass of voices settles on a common pitch, or the children use their instruments to echo each other.
Children intuitively understand that music is expression, and anyone who’s watched a 3-year-old belt out Let It Go knows the giddy power of the human voice. But Mariano’s jamborees remind us that music also connects us, rallies us, encourages us to listen. Music happens when people come together to make themselves heard. That’s also a pretty good recipe for change.
With this in mind, we were excited to host our first ever community singalong, Sing for Freedom and Justice! on Wednesday, March 1st. Families joined us on the 6th floor to sing a mix of classic American folk songs and children’s music, including “This Land is Your Land,” by Woody Guthrie, “We Shall Overcome,” and “This Little Light of Mine.”
Our voices melded and rose together to the rhythm of percussion instruments. We were also thrilled to be joined by our Manny Cantor Center seniors for this inspiring and rousing event. If you weren’t able to join us this time around, see our Facebook video here and more photos from the event here. We hope you’ll visit the Preschool to sing with us at our next singalong.
Associate Director, Educational Alliance Preschool
To learn more about the Educational Alliance Preschool please click here.
Manny Cantor Center is grateful for the generous support of the Jewish Communal Fund as the founding donor of the Jewish Day Care initiative, with a gift made through UJA-Federation of New York, and for the JCF’s support in piloting this new model of family engagement.