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Charlottesville orchestra teacher uses hip hop to engage students

Published: May. 11, 2021 at 8:53 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - An orchestra teacher in Charlottesville has found a unique way to engage hundreds of students both in the classroom and on social media.

Walker Upper Elementary Teacher Emily Waters is mixing strings and hip hop beats to make music class more relevant. She won the 2021 James Madison University graduate school innovation award for her work on a new method book to help orchestra teachers across the country utilize hip hop in their classrooms.

“I hope that my impact is not just within my own classroom but for orchestra teachers everywhere that can utilize alternative styles in their classroom and increase engagement and inclusivity and be able to represent artists of color within the string community,” said Waters.

Waters is even breaking down the classical barrier on Tik Tok, naming her account “The String Queen”. That has garnered big attention from her students and others in the music industry.

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