Fadi Kheir photo

Musical Explorers, an innovative and interactive musical program that teaches children from kindergarten through second grade about interesting facets of African American music and beyond, is at Carnegie Hall through January 14. Musical Explorers “connects students in grades K–2 to rich and diverse musical communities as they build fundamental music skills through listening, singing, and moving to songs from all over the world,” according the org’s overview. 

According to a statement from the organization, Musical Explorers Family Concerts is “an interactive experience celebrating unique musical cultures and traditions. The performances feature Gullah music with Quiana, Malian traditional music with Yacouba and hip-hop with Soul Science Lab. Free pre-concert activities are offered one hour prior to each performance, preparing parents and children to sing and dance along with the artists.” 

This program is vital to the growth and advancement of children in urban communities who deserve just as much innovation and care in the music education as young children of means. This program brings a high-quality and super-fun experience for these kids as they dance, play and learn about themselves through connecting with music and understanding more of who they are through sound and movement.

The instructors for each concert include Quiana Parler, lead vocalist, lyricist and composer for the Grammy Award–winning Gullah band Ranky Tanky. The group has toured nationally and internationally, performed at venues such as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and been featured on “The Tonight Show,” “Saturday Night Live” and the American Music Awards. 

Yacouba Sissoko was born in Kita, Mali, to a long line of jelis. When he was 9, he began playing the kora and learning centuries-old oral traditions from his grandfather; by the time he was 15, he was performing with prominent African bands, which brought him to the U.S. 

Soul Science Lab (SSL) is a music and multimedia duo powered by Chen Lo and Asante Amin, storytellers who inspire the future. SSL is dedicated to creating a celebrated body of work and cultivating the next generation of iconic artists.

The program also offers digital programming that provides free online classroom resources, including lesson plans, artist-led videos and digital concert experiences filmed live at Carnegie Hall. For more info, visit www.carnegiehall.org.

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