Students at P.S. 119 The Amersfort School had the unique opportunity to work with professional musicians and artists to produce original songs and star in two lively music videos with a focus on diversity that premiered last week on YouTube – best of all, it was all their own work.
“The students wrote the songs, selected the costumes, choreographed the dances, created the artwork, and edited, revised and directed the videos,” Principal Barbara Snow said.
Fifth grade teacher Karen La Rossa has worked with David Z Foundation founder and CEO Paul Zablidowsky (Paulie Z) for many years through the foundation’s Medley Music Program, which helps students engage in a learning experience combining rock/pop music and education, while learning about collaboration, communication, expression and project management.
La Rossa said the work began in October 2022 at the school located at 3829 Avenue K. Artist Hawley Hussey and lead singer Corey Glover from Living Colour added their talents as the students met weekly via Skype with Paulie Z who lives in Los Angeles, CA, and then in person toward the end of production.
According to Paulie Z, on his foundation site, they believe in the power of music to empower young people to be the best they can be — whether it’s academic learning, youth mental health or to help prepare young aspiring artists to have a successful career in the music business.
“It’s a way to get through to the kids with reading, writing, self-expression and more through music and videography as it hits every sort of artistic and academic area,” Snow said.