Strength in our community
Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, currently designated as BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month, was formally recognized in 2008 to raise awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness.
The theme of this year’s BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month: Strength in Our Communities.
At Education Through Music, that is a phrase that keeps us motivated as we fight to pursue equity and provide access to music education for all students.
We are only as strong as our weakest members, and it is important that we continue to support all members of our communities, and what better way to connect with each other than through music.
As ETM alumna Cassandra once shared “Music Unites Us All.”
It’s true! Music is a way to help bring communities together, to help support one another, and to celebrate our differences that only help make us stronger. What’s more, music can help reduce stress, elevate your mood and motivation, and can help reduce anxiety.
As ETM teacher Andrew Grossman says, “if we’re serious about keeping our students mentally healthy, we need to be equally serious about letting students experience music.”
As part of a special lesson for her students back in May, ETM music teacher Amanda Keil, gave her students, many of whom identify as BIPOC, an opportunity to express themselves through movement and music.
Like all ETM teachers, Amanda has been trained in culturally responsive teaching techniques, helping her to better understand what her students bring to the classroom and create relevant and representative lessons that reflect their lived experience.
By giving students the opportunity to safely engage with each other outside, Amanda helped her students take inventory of their mental health through music and dance, while learning about different cultures, including each other’s.
Her students were able to create with each other, and bring some joy to their community as they performed outside.