Get a backstage, all-access pass to KIPP Iluminar Academy’s Soundcheck Choir in the video below as they rehearse for the We Are the Music Experience festival - their first-ever public performance! Read on to learn about their process and the importance of music education for students.
Christa Camilleri has been teaching music at KIPP Iluminar Academy (KIA) for almost four years. Ms. Camilleri’s motivation for teaching can be traced back to her childhood. She shares that “growing up I had several music teachers that I loved and what I found in music was a sense of community. Teaching allows me to combine my love of music with my love of students. My students are the best part of my job.”
Ms. Camilleri spoke of the importance of music education not just in the classroom but in life, explaining that “music infiltrates all parts of a student’s development that is vitally important. It can improve coordination and brain functions, sharpen senses, help with language development and math reasoning, and build a sense of confidence and teamwork.” KIA students come to her two or three times a week to learn the fundamentals of music like singing, movement, and good ol’ fashioned recorders.
She describes her students as “zesty, curious, and a lot of fun,” which is apparent in visiting a rehearsal for the Soundcheck Choir. Ms. Camilleri founded the Soundcheck group this past school year. The choir features the talents of KIA second, third, and fourth graders who audition for a spot in the group and rehearse both during and after school each week. “Having a special, select group has been really good for motivating students to work harder at music and it’s great to be able to showcase what KIPP Iluminar is able to achieve at different performances,” said Ms. Camilleri.
The group joins several other KIPP LA schools at the We Are the Music Experience festival on Olvera Street to perform for the first time in public under the organizational guidance of KIPP LA Prep music teacher Ben Coria. “I’m really excited for my students to perform for the general public and I’m excited to see all of the other schools’ music groups as well,” noted Ms. Camilleri. It’s been a long process preparing for the festival, starting with the choice of songs in December and continuing with rhythm, lyrics, and movement practice throughout the winter and spring. No doubt their hard work will pay off. Break a leg, Soundcheck!
Check back in the coming weeks for a glimpse into KIPP LA Prep’s rehearsal process on the road to Olvera Street.