The growing with the changes project was born in the first few weeks of quarantine here in Ecuador. We had quite a drastic change that happened in a matter of days. We went from being in school to be under government ordered curfew from 2pm to 5am. Within the music department we wanted to do something to support the emotional health and learning of our students. I work as an assistant in early childhood music but I am also a certified music therapist. As a music therapist we are trained in composition methods for songs that will help give students and clients the tools to navigate social and emotional challenges. So Growing with the Changes was born.
The lyrics discuss how our situation has changed and that can be scary but also what we can do about it: take deep breaths, try new things, help our parents around the house. The idea is to address the situation, validate our students feeling, and give them tools to navigate these new challenges, all in a fun and engaging way.
What really surprised me was the response to our video collaboration project. It was so heartwarming to see such a positive and engaged response from our wider community. The song was composed with our youngest students in mind but we received submissions for our video from all areas of the school. I saw such creativity and enthusiasm. I loved seeing videos of siblings and cousins coming together to create something. It reminded me that, while as teachers we are often so worried about our students, we forget how strong, creative, and resilient they are. I think our student body is an incredible demonstration of how we are truly growing with the changes.