Unity Through Music project creates new opportunities for music making in Brazil
One aspect of the Unity Through Music project is to promote advocacy-infused intercultural learning opportunities for young people to take action and enhance the potential for music making around the world. In May 2016, students and faculty of the Sobral Music School were presented with a cheque in the amount of R$ 4.689, 50 (Brazilian Reais). The funds were raised by students from Cherry Hill and Hatzic Elementary Schools in Mission and Windermere Secondary School in Vancouver, under the supervisory efforts of their respective teachers Ms. Sharon Widdows and Ms. Shannon Leddy who are both PhD students and Graduate Researchers with MODAL Research Group. Fundraising activities, which were linked to the UTM intercultural learning program, were undertaken by the Canadian students at both schools in an effort to assist more Brazilian students in being able to benefit from music making through the purchase of musical instruments and maintenance.
The cheque was received by the Director of the Sobral School of Music, Mr. José Brasil; Sobral School of Music- João Louro Music Association's conductor, Mr. Diogo Mello; Federal University of Ceará professor, Dr. Adeline Stervinou; Federal University of Ceará Sobral Campus Assistant Director, Dr. João Guilherme Nogueira Matias; Federal University of Ceará professor, Dr. Rita Helena Gomes; and Ceará's State Secretary of Culture and Tourism, Ms. Eliane Leite.
Unity Through Music is a technology-mediated, multimodal music education program directed by Dr. Susan O’Neill to research the integration of intercultural learning and advocacy-infused music education. For the past three years, the program has brought together over 100 students from elementary and secondary schools in Mission and Vancouver with students from the School of Music in Sobral, Brazil. This has involved regular interactions via online videoconferencing (e.g., Skype) and shared activities involving creative arts practices, historical/ cultural arts traditions, and multimodal literacies. Music-related themes (e.g., Capoeira in Brazil; Indigenous music in Canada) have provided a focus and coherence to the learners’ explorations of historical, social, and cultural contexts, practices, and identities.