It’s a catchy song – Nick

We sing it all the time in the morning – Cali

Yin is learning drum and singing.  She played piano and clarinet when she was younger, but gave those up.

Nick played the flute in 8th grade

“We’re learning a lot about music – the high notes and the low, and the between, and the drumming.”  A., a GYV participant from Iraq started drumming on the table as he demonstrated what he was learning in his Arabic music class.  The class, lead by Arabic musician Sami Abu Shumays, is bringing speakers of more than 5 languages, from 4 countries together to learn to sing and play music from the Middle East.  For many, it’s their first experience playing music.  M., also from Iraq, has never been involved in music, but has learned to drum for the class.  A. has worked professionally as a DJ, creating beats for commercials and songs.

Other participants were already accomplished musicians when they joined the class, but are enjoying learning a new form.  Klara, from Germany, plays jazz and classical saxophone, and is excited to be learning a new form of music.  Cali, from the United States, plays violin, piano, clarinet, flute, drums, and lap harp.  She says, “It’s a lot of fun because we get to meet each other and learn.”  Nick, from Chicago, agreed.  “It’s bringing us closer together.”

Learning to sing in Arabic has been a challenge for the non-Arabic speaking participants.  Cali says the aspirated Hs are particularly difficult.  She explained her difficulty, and it turned into a mini-lesson on the correct pronunciation.  The Arabic speaking students in the class spend a lot of time helping the others understand the meaning of the music they are working on.

Both sections of the class are looking forward to performing the song they are learning at Sharing Night.  “It’s a catchy song,” says Nick.  “We sing it a lot in the mornings,” Cali added.

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