Music Education is Comes Alive at the Make the World Dance Fundraiser in Lake County, IL

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Lake County children will perform world music to raise money for their school, Country Meadows Montessori, on April 28th. Come by to enjoy and support high-quality music education.

On April 28, 2012 a small school in Lake County will prove that music programs are not only vital to a well-rounded education, but they can actually add to a school’s coffers. The Make the World Dance extravaganza, produced by Country Meadows Montessori School (CMMS), will showcase world music from the Philippines, India, Spain, and Italy as well as North and South Americas, interpreted by performers from ages 5 to 12.

At a time when most Illinois schools are cutting back on music programs to balance budgets and focus on standardized test preparation, Country Meadows is committed to investing in its musical curriculum. “I would never cut the music program,” said Principal Mary O’Young, “I’ve worked with students over the years, from severely handicapped through gifted, and have found that children require music as a part of their developmental foundation.”

Less analytical is Alex Cano, the school’s music director. “It is such a joy to watch the children develop skill and confidence in their singing and dancing. I can’t tell you how many times a child has said to me, ‘Miss Alex, this music makes my heart happy.’”

Always a crowd-pleaser, the CMMS spring fundraiser is expected to generate record ticket sales this year with its world music theme. Among the musical numbers is the Italian folk dance, tarantella, a frenetic series of steps traditionally performed by victims of tarantula bites to prevent them from succumbing to the poison.

Another routine of note is a modern take on the pre-Spanish tinikling dance of the Philippines. The hip-hop sounds of the Black Eyed Peas will play off the traditional beat of the bamboo poles as dancers step over and between them.

“Performances are the best part of music [studies] for me,” said Ben, a student in the upper elementary classroom.”

“Yeah. I never knew I could dance before. That makes me feel good,” added his classmate Joshua.

Another performer, Dalila chimed in to say she appreciates Ms. Cano’s approach to rhythm. “If she’s trying to teach us a certain beat, she’ll use words like pineapple, lemon drop, or watermelon.”

“I am just amazed at every aspect of these performances,” said Kim Mohiuddin, a parent of two pre-school students at CMMS. “From the children’s skill with singing and dancing to the detailed execution of the costumes, this goes well beyond what one would think a grade-school production could be. You can just see how much love and care go into putting it all together. Miss Alex and some of the other teachers and parents actually sew the costumes themselves!”

Indeed, a love of music seems to pervade the school with four of its teachers—Mrs. Horine, Ms. Harkaway, Mrs. Sullivan and Mr. Melka—coming from professional music backgrounds. Mr. Melka, a classically trained trumpet player, noted that dancing and playing music as a group has cultivated coordination, rhythm, and cooperation amongst his students. “And they’re really pretty good!” he adds.

“Of course the Make the World Dance performance will raise money,” said Ms. O’Young, “But the primary purpose is to give the children a chance to share their music with their parents, fellow students, and community members.”

To catch the world music bug and keep music education alive in Lake County, come see the CMMS Make the World Dance spring fundraiser. Proceeds will benefit the non-profit school and go towards purchase of classroom projectors and screens—and you’ll benefit from a toe-tapping good time!


Make the World Dance
Country Meadows Montessori School Student Performance and Fundraiser
Saturday April 28th
4pm to 7pm
Woodland Intermediate School
1115 North Hunt Club Road Gurnee, IL 60031

Tickets: $25 for adults / $10 for children

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