The first offering of Music 3360, "The Brazilian Experience," took place during May term this year. The purpose of the course was to provide Ohio State students with an intense immersion experience centered on Brazilian music, culture and education.
Following two weeks of on-campus coursework, fourteen students (eleven music education majors and three non-majors) trekked to Salvador and Rio de Janeiro for twelve days of study and cultural engagement. Events included city tours of Salvador and Rio; master classes in Afro-Brazilian percussion, samba and forro dance styles; Brazilian chamber music and samba school traditions. Additionally, participants performed six school concerts for Brazilian school children in Calabar, Pacificadora, Barrio de Paz, Maple Bear (Salvador) and Meu + Seu (Rio).
Students returned with a new understanding of Brazilian musical styles; a deep respect for the Brazilian people and their culture; and a more profound understanding of how music builds bridges in academic, personal and educational settings. Student perspectives included:
- “This experience has changed my life. I never thought I would be here—the food, the people, the music…all have been amazing.”
- “Performing for and with the students has been a highlight for me. Seeing people that possess so few material items…they don’t need things. Their culture and music and passion is what makes them happy.”
- “This was epic. Truly epic.”