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Marzolf Primary 1st-graders explore African song, dance, drumming

Categorized as: Schools & Education
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First-graders in Shaler Area's Marzolf Primary School are getting a taste of

African culture through exploring African songs, dance and drumming.

Angela Evans, a music teacher at Marzolf Primary School, partnered with

Gateway to the Arts, a division of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, to welcome

guest teacher Bea Mitchell into her classroom.

Ms. Mitchell, who Marzolf first-graders call "Aunt Bea," has traveled to

west Africa several times to develop her musical techniques and brings those

experiences to the classroom. Ms. Mitchell focuses on teaching the students

how movement, percussion and song can come together to express a piece of


"I'm big on bringing diversity to the classroom," Ms. Mitchell said.

The partnership with Gateway to the Arts was funded in part by a donation

from the Marzolf Primary Parent Teacher Organization. Ms. Mitchell will work

with the students through five sessions, then students will participate in a

sharing presentation at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, to show family and

friends what they have learned.

"I wanted the students to have a different experience than what I can

provide," Ms. Evans said. "The kids have gotten a very rich experience from