Composer/educator Marcus Shelby received a Blue Marble in 2010 that he took with him to Japan when conducting the Count Basie Orchestra at the Blue Note in Tokyo. Marcus has since been exploring environmental issues in his own work as a composer of music and in his role as a teaching artist at Rooftop School. In his residency this year, Marcus introduced our K-8 students to the music of the cool jazz period, and shared the history of the green movement. His “Green & Blues” residency used music to illustrate environmental concepts, such as the 3+Rs, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Transport, and Waste Management. Music is a fantastic means to engage, involve, unify and spur people to action.
With The North Star Project in 2012, students explored the theme of the green economy and sustainability, and they talked about what they could do themselves to encourage others to “go green” and “live blue. They created their own artistic responses with poetry, music, dance and drama, and worked with art teacher Cyndy Sugawara to create eco-awareness video PSA’s for two community performances. The student-led performances also featured students as the set designers, stage managers, DJ’s and emcees.
Dezyre & Max are two best friends at Rooftop who were inspired to act after attending the North Star assembly. After seeing a PSA created by a Rooftop 8th grader, Daniel, about the impact of plastic pollution on the ocean, they were especially saddened to see a photo of a turtle eating a plastic bag. Dezyre and Max were determined to do something to help and they worked together to start a litter club. After Dezyre made a sign inviting others to join their efforts, and their teacher, Mr. John Mayhew shared his student’s plans.
Dezyre and Max really wanted to share their story, so we documented their daily routine on the playground using the Flip Camera received from EarthEcho. Their video is scored with music by Marcus Shelby, who graciously offered his support to our student effort to make a change.
Kids working together with their friends to create change on behalf of The Blue Marble.