Service Learning With Music

IPR’s 2014 Fall quarter met its end with great success, especially philanthropically. While one of its Global Citizenship classes put on musical performances to entertain at senior centers, another section raised money for Sharing and Caring Hands, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the poor.

John Edmundson’s class of 17 students split into two groups and visited two nursing homes: The Senior Place and Catholic Eldercare, both in Northeast Minneapolis. On the first two visits, students chatted with residents for ideas about what the seniors would like to hear. The students said they were somewhat surprised by the music that the residents liked: the Beatles, Johnny Cash, and reggae, among others. They also were impressed and moved by the stories that these elder citizens told about their lives. The students discovered that the residents were thrilled to have company from outside the senior center and were happy to play cards and other games with them. After spending several hours rehearsing, the students returned to the senior centers to perform.

Aneesa Adams’s night section of Global Citizenship spent countless weeks putting together a holiday clothing and gift drive for Sharing and Caring Hands, along with a charitable event to show the children at Mary’s Place how to make their own instruments. Over half the class ventured to Mary’s Place, an apartment complex designated for the homeless, right across the street from Sharing and Caring Hands to meet with the children.

In both sections, all students all said the class was rewarding and that they were happy they were able to help the less fortunate spend some quality time with the arts.

Similarly, the residents of the senior centers were extremely pleased and begged the students to come back. IPR is thrilled its students created these opportunities to assist with great local causes — and the students say they plan to make volunteering more a part of their lives.

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