Hip hop instruction comes to Sauk Trail

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Every Sauk Trail student -- more than 300 in all from kindergarten through fourth grade -- recently had the chance to learn hip hop dance from two professional instructors.

Rachael Peterson and Ben Cha, both originally of Middleton, visited the elementary school last week. The MCPASD Education Foundation paid for the workshop as part of a grant written by music teacher John Becker.

This is part of a larger project this year of creating and performing original hip-hop music and lyrics at Sauk Trail. 

“The students had an amazing experience with this art form in these workshops. Students learned fun new dance moves, but also had the chance to express their own creativity through solo dancing,” said Becker, who is leading this project.  “Thanks to our Education Foundation for making this possible.” 

Cha also showed kids how to “beat box” or make drum and percussion sounds with their voice in the microphone. 

Sauk Trail students are also having other neat opportunities to work with guest performing artists this school year, Becker said. The Madison Symphony is in residency with a string quartet making four school visits with their “Up Close and Musical” program.  Also, thanks to a Madison Jazz Society Grant and a District Global Initiative Grant, students will have the chance to experience live jazz music in school.  Guest professional musicians will perform for the children in an all-school assembly with some students “sitting in” as improvisers. Bassist Laurie Lang, one of the guest artists, will spend some days working with Becker in music class. 

“I am grateful that our Sauk Trail kids can also have these diverse musical experiences through the generosity of all of these grant donors,” Becker said.