Artist School Visit Fosters Sense of Belonging

Last Monday, several schoolchildren were treated to an exclusive concert and workshops when songwriter David Hodges visited two townships schools as part of a tour for his well-known composition Notre Home. Townshippers’ Association, working with Quebec Community Group Network’s Senior Project Officer, Roseline Joyal-Guillot, was proud to play a part in making the visit possible.

Of his song, David has said, “These lyrics express my sentiment of belonging to the province of Quebec.  My Home. “Notre Home.” The children at Waterloo Elementary School and Knowlton Academy picked up on that sentiment of belonging during David’s visit on April 15.

“When the kids came in from playing, David got them to take part in the action immediately,” said Townshippers’ Community and Culture coordinator, Kate Holbrook. “He put a small girl to work playing the role of a DJ. The energy was quite electric and noisy but he managed to have the children (aged 5-10) listening attentively, participating with incredible enthusiasm and as they clustered around him at the end of his show to talking to him about how they loved his Hip Hop songs.”

Accompanied by his technical assistant, Adam, David presented workshops in both schools that gave the children a chance to DJ, dance and follow along with the lyrics to his songs written on a large screen. A former teacher, in addition to being an amazing musician, David said the workshops stemmed from a need he identified in the schools he attended.

Waterloo Elementary and Knowlton Academy both have an arts program. The Waterloo school has also been identified as a school which copes with extreme poverty in the English-speaking community and the children are greatly encouraged by professional artists who come in to offer drama and music classes.

Waterloo Elementary Principal, Renalee Gore, expressed to David how impressed she was by his message, and was also interested in receiving details about his day-long songwriting workshop. For his part, David, who also helps out with kids helpline, was happy to see that both schools are following an anti-bullying campaign and the notices are very visible in the school.

The visit was a great way to welcome the warmer weather, with tons of energy the children were delighted to sing, shout, and meet an inspiring performer and a really friendly guy. To watch a video of David’s visit to Waterloo Elementary and Knowlton Academy visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ggAp3h7pMA

For more information on Townshippers’ Association and our activities, catch our columns in the Brome County News, listen to Townshippers’ broadcast on radio CIDI 99.1 FM every Friday at 5 p.m., and visit us on Twitter @Townshippers, Facebook, and our website www.townshippers.qc.ca. To connect with Townshippers’ Association, contact the offices in Sherbrooke (100 – 257 Queen St. 819-566-5717, toll-free: 1-866-566-5717) or Lac-Brome (3-584 Knowlton Rd, 450-242-4421, toll-free: 1-877-242-4421).


Publication: About Townshippers column, Brome County News, April 23 2013

Photo Credit:   Courtesy Lemme Kno

Photo Caption: Notre Home songwriter David Hodges (rear center) brought music to Waterloo Elementary School and Knowlton Academy last week with workshops and a private concert arranged by Townshippers’ Association and the Quebec Community Group Network.

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