A Celebration of Balinese Music & Culture

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Fourth graders at Stetser Elementary in Chester, PA, learned about Balinese music and culture–and marine ecosystems–and shared what they learned in a traditional musical ensemble called a Gamelan for families and other children at the school.

The students, under the direction of teacher, Nancy Peltier, and Dr. Tom Whitman and students from Swarthmore College, started their performance with a Kecak, a traditional chant and dance from Bali inspired by the waters surrounding the island nation.

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The children used Balinese instruments such as the jegogan, gong, ketuck and gangsa to perform a selection of traditional songs along with their own original compositions, and read haiku poems about marine life that they had written.

The performance ended with a shadow puppet show featuring marine animals, and the arrival of the Barong, a spiritual character from Bali that brings good luck.

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With the support of a Sharing the Dream grant, Stetser Elementary made contact with a school in Bali, so that students could interact with children there and learn more about Balinese culture and marine animals in that part of the world.

Fourth graders weren’t the only ones meeting new friends in other countries. Second graders, who have been studying gardening practices around the world, wrote and illustrated a book about fruits and vegetables that they shared with children attending the Henri Christophe Community School in Haiti.

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Read more about Stetser Elementary’s Exploring Our Global Community Sharing the Dream project in “Stetser Kids Bring History to Life in Emancipation Celebration,” posted March 18, 2013.

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Sharing the Dream

Grants for pre-K-8 school projects that create global classrooms where children—and families—can safely connect, exchange ideas and learn together.

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