Elise is Artist-in-Residence at GVP,
a school for teenage refugee girls in Decatur, GA
The Global Village Project (GVP) is a special purpose middle school for teenage refugee girls from Afghanistan, Burma, Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iraq, Liberia, Somalia, Sudan, and Central African Republic. GVP serves girls whose formal education has been interrupted by war and refugee camp experiences. Music is an important part of the GVP strengths-based curriculum, helping to teach English as well as Math, Science, and Social Studies .
Because music is located in every part of the human brain, singing accelerates and deepens learning of English. The GVP Music Program provides the opportunity for every student to participate in the Chorus and enhances that experience with Music Classes that focus on Vocabulary Building, Pronunciation, Ear Training, Writing Skills, and Kinesthetic Learning.
Singing builds confidence and empowers these young women to step into their full potential. GVP students also share songs and music from their home cultures to create a global school repertoire that also includes original songs.
The GVP Vocal Ensemble has become a popular performing group and has sung for numerous events around Atlanta including One Billion Rising, Mountainfilm on Tour ATL, American Jewish World Services, as well as community venues like Georgia Perimeter College, Decatur Library, and the Clarkston Farmers Market.
Students also have the opportunity to take instrument lessons – piano, guitar, ukulele, and recorder – from volunteer professional musicians and experience concerts and workshops with local, national and international musicians. We have hosted amazing artists at GVP including master improvisor Rhiannon; songwriters Terry Garthwaite and Becky Reardon; percussionists Melissa Massey, Phyllis Free, and Dave Holland; cellist Okorie Johnson; authors Carmen Deedy and Grace Lin; and theater artists Suehyla El-Attar and Heidi Howard.