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