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SUBJECTS — Music; U.S./1991 - Present; New York; Biography;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Education; Female Role Model;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Responsibility and Citizenship.
Age: 6+; MPAA Rating: G; Documentary; 1996; 77 minutes; Color.
This delightful documentary will benefit every young music student. It shows children 6 - 16 anxious to play the violin; willing to practice and work hard to live up to their teacher's stringent standards. They are rewarded by appearing on stage at Carnegie Hall with some of the world's greatest and most exciting violinists. They will also see caring and nurturing inner city schools, a female role model, and an inspiring teacher.
The story of Small Wonders revolves around cost-cutting in the New York City schools that eliminated an innovative program for teaching violin. The parents and the teacher did not take this lying down. They raised enough money to pay for the program. The program exists today, only larger and more comprehensive, teaching several instruments.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to Small Wonders helps teachers use this film to inspire young music students. Older students and adults will be interested in the fight to keep the violin program alive.
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Small Wonders will inspire children to take up an instrument and practice.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To give you a sense of how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to develop lesson plans, and by parents to supplement school curriculum or for homeschooling, we have set out below a paragraph from the Learning Guide to Small Wonders.
What began as an effort to protect the job of an innovative and inspiring teacher is now a nonprofit organization with broader goals. Opus 118 - We Want Music! has plans that include promoting outstanding teaching efforts in other New York City schools, offering after school and weekend lessons to dedicated students, and a concert series to expose students to great musical performers. Its "Outstanding String Teachers Initiative" seeks to train music teachers in the group teaching methodology pioneered by Roberta Guaspari, along with developing skills in program development, community-parent organization, relations with elected officials, and public-private interaction. Opus 118 - We Want Music! has proposed several other initiatives designed to promote music education nationally.
The Learning Guide to the film Small Wonders contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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