This learning path has been created in a LLP funded project Art4ROM which is a project primarily aimed at creating knowledge and awareness of the Romani culture into primary schools and educational settings in Europe. The project Art4ROM embraces the concepts of art integration and propose modalities of teaching based on the important value and unique joy of the arts.
The Art4ROM project is designed to provide teachers, social operators, artists and educators with inspiration and practical tools to use in their workplace to:
- foster cultural and social exchange among Romani and non-Romani children;
- promote the knowledge of the Romani culture in educational settings and Romani settlements;
- teach and learn about Romani history, traditions, values and current life through the use of multi-art forms;
- encourage Romani children to raise their level of school attendance by learning curricular subjects through the arts and expanding their self-esteem;
- improve Romani children’s happiness and self-esteem;
- make non Romani children more open and emphatic towards their Romani peers;
- discover that the culture of the largest ethnic minority of Europe enriches all the members of the society, today as it did in the past.
The Art4ROM activities were implemented in three European countries, within Romani settlements as well as in primary schools hosting both Romani and non-Romani students.
Artists and social operators have contributed to deliver the didactic sessions along with teachers. The most of the artists and trainers who contributed to the project pedagogic lines and activities has a long-term experience in artistic training with children to promote social inclusion and education, especially those coming from the MUS-E network. Clarifications and information on the Romani culture were mainly contributed by Union Romani, partner of the Art4ROM project.
The learning path selected is about exploring the origin of Romani Music and supporting the learning of curricular subjects as Geography and History in primary schools children.
Learning by doing, applied research, team work, listening techniques, brainstorming, discussion, circle time, using different tools.
Map of Europe and India, Indian Romani music on mp3 or music CDs, hi-fi systems or computer with loudspeakers.
Students will have acquired knowledge of the origin of Romani music and historical/geographic notions of the Romani history.
Students will have shared emotions and practiced listening skills (listening to the music and to each other).
Students will have learnt to share their creativity through carrying out a dance choreography.
Step 1 – The teacher introduces the Romani history and, with the use of a map, shows the migration of the first group which most likely originated from India and the actual geographical distribution.
Step 2 – The teachers plays various music pieces, the children listen to them. They are asked what the music made them think of, which emotions would the music elicits, if the music suggests any image… (Discussion on the music listening).
Step 3 – The teacher explains that the Romani music influenced the music composed and performed in the countries where the Romani used to live, it influenced classic music….
Step 4 – Children are invited to clap the rhythm of some of the music pieces along with the music playing.
Step 5 – Children are invited to start improvising a dance. Students, facilitated by the teacher through a scaffolding process, create a dance choreography for subsequent sessions, based on Romani music.
The Art4ROM partnership has developed a very comprehensive Art4ROM Methodology Handbook http://media.wix.com/ugd/d11002_cc991cadd176400684fd64a1833f6473.pdf which offers hints for reflections and reports on practical ways of applying the innovative Art4ROM training idea that lies on the educational power of the arts.
The Handbook is a very useful pedagogical tool and manual for teachers, artists and cultural operators which comprises various practices in education and arts as well as guidelines on the training methodology, road map of expected outcomes, resources materials and lesson plans integrating Romani culture and arts to be used with Romani and non Romani children in the schools and in the settlements.
Feedback from one of the trainer of the Art4ROM project
“In particular, by giving the chance to Roma children to express themselves, communicate and learn through music and multi-art forms, they realize that they are not as bad as people expect.
Their classmates and teachers understand that they are not “bad pupils” and the relationship can change. Giving a chance to learn subjects through music and the other arts can be cathartic, especially with Romani children who respond much better through participative or artistic activities rather than through traditional pedagogy”
by Pedro Casermeiro, Union Romani, Barcelona Spain