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Miss Marietta's Memory Music

"Miss Marietta’s Memory Music" is a multimedia collaboration culminating in the video of a children’s book with musical accompaniment. This video is intended to benefit teachers/parents/students, along with supplemental materials for incorporating connection of environments and experiences to the arts. Project participants include author Debbi Ponella (Director/Co-Founder of Kids Compose with over 20 years of experience working with elementary students to explore expressing their creativity through arts, with an emphasis on music composition); illustrator Joi Almonacy (Sacred Heart High School student, Greenwich, CT); Alexa Hughes (8-year-old Sacred Heart student); narrator Marietta Simpson (renowned opera singer, educator, and fellow of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences); composer August Fackler (Indiana University Jacobs School of Music composition and film scoring student); and professional musicians from around the country.


This project was conceived as a resource for music teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic; providing direction to facilitate discussing with students ways to imagine and transport themselves to other places—especially when limited by reasons such as a pandemic—and to connect through sounds, sights, movement, and shared experiences incorporating the arts. Miss Marietta’s Memory Music has evolved into an online, multi-generational, multimedia collaboration, but easily adapts to an in-person presentation with a small group of performers, allowing for further exploration of ideas and musical possibilities for elementary students.

School programs featuring "Miss Marietta's Memory Music can be scheduled beginning Fall 2023.

"Miss Marietta's Memory Music" In-School Program

An ensemble of 9 musicians (flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone, trombone, violin, cello, guitar, harp, and percussion) and a narrator will perform live for your students. "Miss Marietta's Memory Music" engages the imagination to travel to four diverse environments: the park, the beach, the zoo, and the forest. In this interactive session, students will be encouraged to share ideas and explore how these four environments might sound, look, and feel. The various instruments will be introduced and examples of how they recreate the environmental sounds given (e.g. the tenor sax "howling" like wolves, cello producing seagull cries, and percussion making wave sounds with a brush on the snare drum.) Movement will be used to further explore connection. All of these concepts will expand and enhance the experience as the student listen to the performance. Students will be encouraged to explore their own creative expressions and connect to the world around with with their own artistic expressions.

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