Arts at ASD
Mike Kachuba with the help of Teacher Karen Manko explain the instruments and their function to the children. As part of ASD’s 2009-2010 commitment to the arts, Pre-K through eighth grade students enjoyed a variety of art programs this fall. Guest artists from Young Audiences CT worked with our students in different settings. These artists were supported through The Connecticut Culture & Tourism Commission, Young Audiences of Connecticut and ASD funding. ASD students were exposed to new types of art forms, as well as the patterns and rhythms of music. Research has shown direct correlations between music and improved literacy skills in children. For students in the classes of Becky Peters, Karen Manko and Sharon Halscheid, five classes of music and rhythm were taught by Mike Kachuba. Mike, or “Mr. Mike” as he became known in the building, taught the Pre-K through third graders how to produce and recognize beats using wooden sticks, drums, shakers and other instruments. Students were divided into two groups and spent Tuesday mornings with Mike, alternating with an ASL story/ language and art activities and music. The teachers worked smoothly as a team with 16
Denise Monte assisting in the music and rhythm classes and Barb Corrigan coordinating the art lessons. Bob Bloom, a Connecticut drumming artist, wowed the students with his powerful drumming and exuberant songs. He was able to quickly adjust his repertoire for each of the four 45minute classes he taught. Students in grades three through six and Quad 1 students were delighted with Bob’s class where they used castanets, drums, tambourines and other small instruments to play along with Bob. He also gave them colored scarves that were incorporated into rhythmic moving and dancing to the beats. His drumming could be heard throughout the Junior High School area. The feedback from the teachers was extremely positive with stories about how the students came alive during the drumming. Anita Farquhar, one of the Quad 1 teachers, spoke movingly about one noncommunicative student who blossomed in this class.