Partner with us and enhance students’ knowledge, skills, self-esteem, and potential. We tailor our programs to suit the needs of each and every partner. 

Our arts-integrated unit is about voicing your soul—getting your message out loud and clear. Students use what they learn about how others have fought for social justice in the past and present—through peaceful action, words, and music—to develop their message of the change they want to make in the world for a better future.

“Voice Your Soul” cuts across the curriculum by incorporating music, art, social studies, civics, reading, writing, research, ELA (English Language Arts), SEL (social-emotional learning), and technology. Students will be able to apply knowledge and understanding of past and current events to real-life situations, socio-political issues, economics, and the human condition of today’s world. The unit culminates in a dynamic social justice showcase that allows students to create original lyrics, poetry, skits, art, music, and multimedia projects by choosing a social justice topic they personally connect with. 

MeMA’s teaching approach presents appropriate questions and dialogue about our responsibilities individually and together as a community, working to correct injustices while respecting students’ perspectives and values. Students make authentic, meaningful connections across content areas as they explore and examine social justice issues of today and yesterday through the lens of the big ideas and essential questions while discovering how powerful messages have created change and how they can craft a compelling social justice message to inspire others.

Our core philosophy centers on students developing historical awareness. The study of history teaches and builds empathy through studying the lives and struggles of others and is an excellent way to apply reason and understanding to present-day issues. We feel students need to understand how past events and actions continue to impact the present and can help shape their future. We strongly believe that music presents society with a creative language and a literature and history of our civilization.

How We Work

Our collaborative role supports teachers in delivering high-quality arts-integrated programs that provide equitable educational opportunities to increase student engagement, support social and emotional learning, and activate critical thinking and problem-solving skills. We work together with teachers to establish clear instructional goals and outcomes. Our program does not replace traditional curricula but supplements and enriches classroom lessons allowing students to make meaningful connections between subject areas. Residencies can be customized to adhere to the specific needs of individual schools.

Our in-school arts-integrated residency program, “Voice Your Soul,” is custom-designed to fit each school’s needs and align with Standards. The entire residency program consists of 24 one-hour sessions. The structure is typically designed for meeting three days a week for an hour each session (or per school scheduling needs) plus a culminating event—a showcase of student-created social justice projects presented at the school for classmates, teachers, parents, caregivers, and family members. Shorter workshops of our entire program are also available.

Our program includes customizable lessons with student-centered activities and the following resources: Lesson activities, music, videos, rubrics, graphic organizers, and additional primary/secondary sources such as reliable, current event news and social media, historical speeches, charts, and graphs. All we need is a classroom! Our teaching method is project-based learning with rigorous integration of—ELA, Social Studies, Civics, SEL, Technology, Art, and Music. The unit ends with student-created social justice-themed projects featuring multimedia, art, and creative writing—songs, rap, poetry, skits—and live performances.

Our Program

In the first part of the unit, students increase their knowledge of how people have protested injustice in the past and present by analyzing texts from song lyrics, videos, and other mentor texts, to determine the intended message and meanings and what makes the content uniquely powerful. Legendary songs of the ’60s-’70s will be a mentor text for how music can be more than entertainment but a platform for social commentary and change. Other forms of protest—marches, walkouts, and sit-ins—will offer students a broader understanding of how you can peacefully communicate your message about injustice. Students will learn what makes a message powerful and consider how they can craft their message of change.

In the second part of the unit, students create their social justice projects through extensive research and applying information and skills they have learned throughout the program. Their final project will include various arts-infused sources, including digital media, artwork, creative writing—songs, raps, poetry, spoken word, stories, skits—and performances. This project will be delivered compellingly, making others in their school community care and desire to get involved. Rigorous standards-based expectations will apply to all projects, while students will also have the freedom to develop a format that draws on their interests, strengths, and experiences. MeMA provides professional media, music, and arts-makers who work closely with students on their final projects.

At the end of the unit, students are challenged to harness their academic skills, individual interests, personal experiences, and artistic vision to develop their Messages of Social Change projects and share them with their school community. Students work individually and in groups on culminating social-justice-themed projects, self-selected by students and based on personal interests, presented en masse as a showcase in the school auditorium, giving students a chance to feel proud of their accomplishments. Reflections and self-assessments of the effectiveness of their project will increase students’ self-awareness of their strengths and areas of growth within the integrated content areas in the unit.

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Testimonials

Thanks again for having us at your last period class. I really enjoyed being an 8th grader in your program. I am positive that the 8th graders will be excited when they start their own projects. I can’t thank you nor stress enough how helpful this class has been in my first year in high school. While all the other freshman were having trouble understanding the new open discussions we were having in class and making connections to real life events, I was already a pro!!!   

Abu-Student

My favorite part of this program was that it helped me more understand society and we have to make more of a difference in certain topics. I learned new things in my topic that I didn’t know before and learned new things in everyone else’s.

Elizabeth-Student

What I found helpful was that before we began the project we were exposed to different social injustices and encouraged to find some of our own. This truly made things easy because this make things personal. I see the MeMA project as a chance to say something that is worth something

David-Student

The most important part of mema was learning about what other cultures went through. Not just learning about history, but giving us more detail about things we normally wouldn’t talk about in class. The most interesting part for me was when we learned about President Nixon and he lied about the Vietnam War.  

Alyia-Student

When we watch videos about social justice, I learn that in the past it was a hard time, I didn’t know that black and white are not together and they have to go to separated school

Shin-Student

Before I started this program all I knew about civil rights movement was the basics, like white & black being separated, and who MLK was. But the program told us stories I didn’t know. For example, I didn’t know that blacks were beaten up in a white restaurant if they ate there. Overall, I’ve noticed a change in myself. This year I’m planning on attending marches. I want to go to pride fest to show my support

Danna-Student, Your Content Goes Here

I loved hearing my students with diverse learning needs singing lyrics to songs that were popular decades before they were born, and understand why those songs are relevant today.

Karen Jarosz-Special Education Teacher

MeMA is a particular draw to kids because of the music, and freedom that allows them to be creative; they can express their own viewpoints, they can research history to find out why things have happened over time and what changes have come about in society.  I love seeing all the different projects and what students are able to create, and I can really see the growth in them and what interests are going to lead them for the future.

Barb Onofrio-Principal, Stone Scholastic Academy, Your Content Goes Here

The MeMA-Music Program at Langford was awesome! The program raised our students’ consciousness regarding social justice issues and afforded them the opportunity to use music to impact their lives and to have their voices heard. 

Dr. Garner-Principal, Langford Community Academy

The program just keeps getting better! As last time, the students’ projects were amazing. But now, the breadth of topics addressed, the varied formats used, the honesty, the creativity—nothing short of remarkable. I’m so impressed by how well the curriculum helps students experience– not just learn– history, how it fosters critical thinking and analysis, respects their individuality, and encourages creative expression.

Lisa Giddens-White-Parent of two MeMA-Music Students

Charlie has been very interested in current events this year, and now we see why.  He has grown so much in a social awareness kind of way, that we want to thank you for what you have helped to develop.  It is projects like yours that help students express their complex thoughts and intimate concerns.  To share those feelings with their classmates is so incredibly healthy, it was a joy to witness.  They don’t know it yet, but their new found awareness, and the ability to share their feelings with others, will be assets to them in the years to come. Thank you MeMA-Music for your vision and your creative spirit.  And, for shining a beautiful light on our little bundles of joy.

Julie and Tim Duncan-Parents of MeMA-Music Student

Thank you, for the work you do with the kids, trying to make this world a better place, song by song, young person by young person. Music has the ability to get to–and move our hearts and souls. Deciphering & analyzing the lyrics that go to those notes and rhythms and developing young students’ critical thinking skills are invaluable tools you are passing along to these young people.

Rita Bramble-Grandparent of MeMA-Music Student

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