Visual Art

IT'S ABOUT THE MUSIC, a non-profit music program

It’s About the Music (IAM) is a choir school that seeks to develop children holistically from their natural proclivity for music as play, to the more formal study and performance of age appropriate vocal repertoire. IAM fuses principles of practice and performance from private studio instruction with public school standards. It guides students to better understand themselves and their world by examining the connections to language/ literature and music; math/ science and music; and social/cultural studies and music.   Springing from a blues aesthetic, this African American approach to music is at the core of child development rather than on the periphery. It is consistent with HR 27’s commitment to the study and preservation of African American music. With Ella Fitzgerald as our model of vocal excellence, we seek the highest standards in music performance and the academic disciplines that support all learning.   Our goal is to provide a pedagogically responsible music focused curriculum for children in urban areas between the ages of 9 and 13. It is also our goal to be an international model of a small school, large family that can provide a holistic education for children who have lost parents to aids.
For more information on It's About the Music, contact Founding Director Kwelismith via email at kwelikwelismith@aol.com.

SECRET MEETING:  Kwanzaa Songs and City Sounds

Secret Meeting sets forth the purpose of African-diasporan music. It places a very necessary influence on the theme of coming-of-age.

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Listen to Songs from the CD on

Part II  Chapter 13
Lyrics to "The City’s A School"  

Broken glass hooking class
Bullies teamin little kids
the same four men playing cards.  

Penny candy liquor store
Shut the door!
Smash! Zoom! Squeal!
A baby cries
Bang! Pop!
Who Pigeons fly high.  

The city’s a school,
The city’s a studio
The whole wide world
Is my teacher,
City signs
City shapes
City sounds Buildings and monuments
The colors to name
And design words
Birds, dogs and trees
Flowers and me
You and cars
Across the street
A subway ride
The corner store
Our neighborhood.  

Book Lessons:

The Word
What is it like to live in your city? What does it sound like? What kind of buildings do you see?  What do you do there?  

The Music

What is a scale? What is a Phrygian mode? How can music follow natural speech?  

Just for Fun

Find pictures of landmarks, businesses and traditions that identify your city. Create a class or family collage with everyone contributing an image.