The last education sessions just ended and what a way to wrap things up! Staff Sergeant Philip Espe’s “Wake Up Your Musicianship for More Inclusive Storytimes” was energizing and joyous. Philip had us all on our feet and singing in 3 languages (English, French, and Spanish). He noted that we can model positive musical practice for our community and that the opportunity to make music together is precious. He emphasized that every voice is beautiful (work against that negative American Idol effect) and music is better when it comes from a live person. Philip referenced the APALA rubric for evaluating AAPI literature (that I blogged about yesterday) and encouraged us to evaluate music in the same way that we evaluate literature. He shared criteria: melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamics and text. And he noted that cultural responsiveness is foundational: music is an expression of culture, and your communities deserve to hear music that reflects them. Leave out music that has a history of oppression or harm. Do your research on the music you choose, and don’t worry — there is a whole world of music out there, so you will still have plenty of music to use. Music can create an inclusive atmosphere, and by sharing and celebrating their music, we can show that we care.
Robin Gibson (she/her/hers) is the Youth Services Manager at the Westerville Public Library in Westerville, Ohio. She is looking forward to reconnecting and making new connections with colleagues and gathering new ideas to share with her team. She loves to travel and is excited to be able to do so again!
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.