Nancy Dupree initially found her elementary school music students in Rochester, NY resistant to participation in class. Once she dropped the standard literature (which asked "Mr. Bear" to "come and play") and began composing music that bore relevancy to contemporary society and to their very tuned-in and grownup interests, she found they immediately took to performing. Her songs addressed the contributions icons James Brown and Jelly Roll Morton made to society, the intangible assets each child naturally possessed ("What do I have? Guts...heart...and soul") and fighting for civil rights ("I want my freedom; I want it now"). Not only did singing about meaningful issues in real musical styles reveal the immense talents the students had, but it gave all a critical lesson in empowerment.
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