Show artwork for Wild

In the CommUNITY

Posted on: November 17, 2020

At the intersection of education, music, and community, you’ll find LA Opera Connects’ Unity Project. And yes, it’s as wholesome as it sounds.  

This eight-week choral residency program gives elementary students the opportunity to learn about important historical events and figures who champion respect, tolerance, and inclusivity through song. But how does this program work? Well, once a week, two of our talented teaching artists visit classrooms (now virtually) with lessons that intertwine proper singing technique and social contexts. At the end of their multi-week residency, students raise their voices in song during a special video performance that ties all they were taught together.  

Our latest group of students participated from Kittridge Elementary in Van Nuys, and just recently completed their own personalized Unity Program. The fifth graders learned about women’s rights through the extraordinary lives of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Fannie Lou Hammer, and set those lessons to songAs a special thank you, they were kind enough to send along a few notes talking about their experience, and we’ve picked a few to share with you here. Get your tissues ready, we’re about to head into a cuteness overdrive.  

Dear Ms. Nani and Ms. Xochitl,  

I will miss you guys forever! Thank you for teaching the history behind songs, I learned so much. My favorite song is “De Colores” because it is in Spanish and I really like the history especially because I'm a very hard worker at home. I am so so so sad that LAO has ended, but I am so blessed to have such wonderful teachers and great memories. I love the vocal warmups they are so fun to do. I remember Ms.Nani that once you said that your sisters and brothers would make fun of you because you were learning to sing at such a young age. That inspired me because my sister makes fun of me as well when I sing. At the end it turns out great like you and Ms. Xochitl. Thank you Ms. Xochitl for helping me learn "De Colores." 

THANK YOU SO MUCH for great memories and great times. 

Thank You LAO,  

Thank you for helping us get smarter and getting great voices. I learned that RBG helped women and men to get equal rights. I enjoyed when you guys helped us to sing and more songs. I loved when you guys do our vocal warm ups. I thought it was cool when we all sang a song. I hope you guys have a great day. 

Sincerely, Jacob 

Dear LA Opera,  

Thank you so much for giving us this time to sing. I'm so sad its ending now and now I know how music changes the world. Thank you for teaching us how to sing and how to improve our singing. I enjoyed every time I spent with you and it’s super sad we’re not going to opera anymore, I never knew some of those people, but overall I will miss you and all the memories. 

Sincerely, Izak 

Dear LA Opera,  

Thank you for taking your time to teach us and for being kind even though I did not have a wonderful voice. I learned so many things and the thing that interested me the most was when we learned about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I enjoyed when you made fun ways for us to sing low and high. I loved when you sang, you both have a beautiful voice! 

Sincerely, Abigail Gomez. 

Dear Ms. Nani and Ms. Xochitl,  

Thank you guys so much for this opportunity and giving me a chance to sing and do something I love. I loved it when you guys gave us songs to do and practice it was so much fun. I enjoyed it when you guys did the warmups and you guys are so kind. I'm so grateful for everything you guys did for us. I hope I can do this sometime in the future it was so much fun working with you guys. I will miss your lessons and songs, then again thank you.❤ 

Sincerely, Angelina 

Want to learn more about the Unity Project? Click here.