Arts for All

Students Learn the Power of Storytelling through Song

“Everybody has a story and these young people have stories that are worth hearing and that are worth sharing.”- Guy Mendilow

Words by: Alexandra Contreras
Video Production by: Kristín Otharsson

On December 11-13, Celebrity Series’ Neighborhood Arts program hosted a three-day songwriting and storytelling workshop at Sumner Elementary School in Roslindale. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Guy Mendilow is an active music educator who utilizes Dalcroze Education as a way of teaching musicianship while cultivating vital skills such as deep focus and a sense of contribution, capability, and belonging that together form esteem. Together with violinist and composer, Chris Baum, and singer, pianist, and composer, Courtney Swain, they taught the workshop to 15 fifth graders from the Sumner Boys and Girls Club after school program, which is directed by Nina Vansuch. The emphasis of the workshop was on giving the students tools to share their stories in a more powerful way, so that they can resonate with people who are different from them.

Now, four months later, these stories provide the foundation for a song that the students and teachers recorded at Futura Productions Recording Studio in Roslindale. In between dances, laughs, and a pizza party, John Weston, founder of Futura Productions, explained the uses and functionalities of the studio’s equipment to these curious students who were filled with questions and a desire to learn. Listen to the song and watch the video of this fun and empowering learning experience!

Neighborhood Arts engages Boston area performing artists to bring the joy of live performance to people of all ages and abilities. Drawing deeply on partnerships with community organizations, Neighborhood Arts activates neighborhoods with a rich and varied array of opportunities, including interactive workshops for youth, free community concerts in neighborhood venues, and free tickets to Celebrity Series main stage performances.

Celebrity Series thanks our artists, partners, and donors, all of whom help make opportunities like these possible for young people in Boston neighborhoods. Support for Neighborhood Arts is provided by the Barr Foundation, Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Amy & Ethan d’Ablemont Burnes, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Royal Little Family Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Bessie Pappas Charitable Foundation, Stifler Family Foundation, Tufts Health Plan, and other generous supporters. Thank you!

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