“Voice Your Soul”


Our curriculum unit “Voice Your Soul” traces the history of America during the turbulent 1960’s—The Decade That Shaped a Generation—and 1970’s, from a global perspective.  The program explores the many social and political issues of the era and how these challenges still resonate today.  Using an arts-infused multimedia approach, students listen to and analyze socially-conscious, politically-charged folk, rock, R&B, hip-hop and blues songs from the 1960’s and 1970’s — universally regarded as music that changed America—and watch related video clips from the era. Other primary sources include (age-appropriate) current music & news clips from credible sources on topics such as income inequality, government spending, politics, discrimination, and other social issues to help students make connections between social justice topics and the world outside the classroom.  MeMA’s program runs in three phases (see below) for 6-8 weeks, meeting 3 times weekly for up to an hour each session, and includes a culminating showcase of student-created arts-integrated projects.

PHASE I:  Direct Instruction: Theory/Analysis-Media-based

(Typically led by MeMA Teaching Artist) Students examine the historical non-violent social movements, resistance, and struggles for liberation during the 60’s-70’s, through analyzing socially conscious song lyrics and related video clips of the era, to connect historical events to current social and political issues, and to understand the purpose for which these songs emerged. Students develop skills in respectfully listening to others, considering diverse viewpoints and understanding social justice issues from both sides.

PHASE II: Immersive Research/Work on Culminating Projects

(Collaborative teaching by school-based teachers in Social Studies/Humanities, ELA, Tech, Art, Music) and MeMA’s music, media and art professionals/mentors to work with students (facilitated by MeMA-Music).  Students create their own social justice pieces through extensive research and by applying information and skills they have learned throughout the program. Students submit final projects through arts-infused sources including, songwriting, spoken word, digital media/film, live performances, dramatic skits and artwork.

PHASE III:  Culminating Social-Justice-Themed Projects and Student Showcase

MeMA’s program unit closes with individual and/or group culminating social justice projects, self-selected by students and based on personal interests. The student projects are presented en masse as a showcase in the school auditorium, giving students a chance to feel proud of their accomplishments. Implementation of the student showcase is facilitated by MeMA-Music. Students assist with technical and stage preparation for the show.  Parents, teachers, and students from other upper grades may be the invited audience for the Showcase event.

“Voice Your Soul” November 3, 2013


Comments or questions are welcome.

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