in the classroom

Five strategies for advancing racial equity in public education

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by Sam O’Bryant When I began working in Memphis in 2012, I arrived during the halfway point of a major investment in teacher effectiveness. While the work was worthy and victories were won, the focus was on making teachers the absolute best they could be. Like most education reform, there was an absence of specific […]

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Bringing students into the field

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by Heather Trussell At The Soulsville Charter School, Dr. Dennis Leoni and I have been working to create a classroom culture in the high school orchestras of orchestral etiquette, work ethic, and respect for colleagues and instruments. We consistently emphasize the fact that proper technique and posture informs the quality of music-making, as well as […]

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Teaching artists and purpose threads: Lincoln Center Education Summer Forum

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During the Spring semester of 2017 MMI’s then In-Schools Director, Lecolion Washington, issued a simple request: Attend a workshop and/or conference that will enhance your work. At this point I had been to a few conferences and although they broadened my perspective of the national arts engagement field I wanted something more focused on the […]

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Building consensus and buy-in with schools

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A conversation with Janet Thompson Let’s start with the strategy and how it’s evolved. Can you talk about how you’ve approached building relationships in the schools and how that approach has developed this year? When I came on board with MMI, I really felt that my first priority should be to extend the reach of […]

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Work in progress: the in-school strategy in action

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by Lecolion Washington The last few years have been an amazing time for the MMI in-schools team as our work has grown by leaps and bounds. One of the key attributes that MMI brings to the table is that we have created an environment in which the tail doesn’t wag the dog. The level of […]

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The view from here: school administrator

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by Menthia P. Bradley At Memphis Business Academy Middle and High Schools, we understand the importance of music and the arts in the enrichment of our Executives. We have always been supportive of the Executive Sounds Choir, under the direction of Joyclyn Wilson, and we have made important strides to develop that department. The issue, […]

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In the classroom: Village vitality

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by Joyclyn Wilson This year my school embarked on an epic partnership with the Memphis Music Initiative that did not disappoint. As a teacher, it can be a daunting task to be asked to add one more thing to your already full plate and I admit I was a little skeptical of how a partnership […]

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Developing the approach: MMI’s in-school strategy

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A conversation with MMI Executive Director Darren Isom Talk about the development of the in-school strategy. The in-school program strategy plays a critical role in the success of MMI’s larger youth and community impact strategy.  Key to the success of our work is engaging students in all facets of their lives. And schools, important in […]

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Leading with love in schools

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by Allison R. Brown He was 14 years old when the school resource officer hit him so hard in the face, he knocked his front tooth out. This happened at school. It is unclear what the student’s transgression, or supposed transgression, was. I posit that it does not matter. When children go to school, they […]

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In the classroom: the alternate path

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  by Rufus Smith I had recently discovered hip hop, and one Sunday I watched a friend write a rap in church. During the sermon, he would pen random rhyming couplets that he would come up with on the spot. I was fascinated. One day, I decided to give it a shot during class in […]

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