Did you know that the internationally popular song La Bamba is over one hundred and twenty five years old and originated in Veracruz, Mexico? That many dance rhythms used in "salsa" music have the same origins as rhythms used in current Arabic dance music? We teach using all kinds of "musics," performing songs and examples that students can directly experience with their hands, their feet, and their voices. Our performances emphasize the folk music of Mexico, Latin America, the Middle East, and American jazz as it relates to the creation of music all over the world.
We use sound exploration to teach musical concepts. Students experiment with non-traditional instruments - sewer pipe, metal keys, buckets, water bottles - and with primal sounds. We use folk and popular music as vehicles for teaching rhythm, movement, melody, and words. Music with improvisation in its tradition – Afro influenced call and response, Mexican dance and versada, jazz and rap - are all used to provide a structure for students to explore their ideas and talents. Click here to see video of students improvising to "La bamba."
Residencies can be a series of individual workshops, and/or can be "Production Residencies," where creating a performance with students is the main goal. Integrated Arts programs are also available. Residencies can also take place in communities. Click here to print Residency and Workshop info, or write for detailed descriptions.
All programs are bilingual (English/Spanish). We work with all age groups and special needs populations. We also maintain private studios.
We are passionate in our belief that learning music can foster awareness, understanding, and love of other cultures. It is to this end that we perform and teach. And also because we love playing music!
WHAT TEACHERS ARE SAYING:
"Their energy and enthusiasm was contagious! They weren't here long enough. Teachers and community members are still talking."
Joseph R. Curtis, music director,
Bisbee High School, Bisbee, Arizona
"Ruth's unique style of free learning allowed the students to create much of what she used in the final performance. This was a good modeling technique for the teachers to incorporate into their own classrooms."
Barbara McLarty, teacher
Hualapai Mountain School, Kingman, Arizona
"Teachers heard music and dancing throughout the school during the 2 weeks the artists were here."
Terry Tobin, teacher, Grand Canyon Elementary
School, Grand Canyon, Arizona
WHAT STUDENTS ARE SAYING:
"Wonderful the way you can make anything up and make it sound good!"
6th grader, Conchos Elementary School,
"Thank you for teaching us our song. I'll miss you for the rest of my life."
4th grader, Hualapai Mountain School,
"I want to do it over and over."
Kinder student Daniel Bright Elementary School, Cottonwood, Arizona