Maples Elementary School Arabic Music Ensemble
Maples Arabic Music Ensemble was established in 2002 to provide musical opportunities and literacy strategies for the students of Maples Elementary School in Dearborn, Michigan.
Directed by Mrs. Catherine Odom Prowse, Maples Vocal Music Teacher; and supported by Mrs. Fatme Faraj, Maples Principal; the group has participated in over 125 ceremonies, festivals, schools, concerts and events during these years.
The Arabic Music Ensemble has proven to be a unique and positive way to reach out to the community. It encourages deeper understanding and communication between diverse cultures. Ensemble participation promotes self-esteem, teamwork, confidence, pride and responsibility. Literacy is improved with patterning memorization and reading of both music and words.
This group began with a single drum and each year the numbers grow as we add new students to the Ensemble. Any of the 600+ students at Maples Elementary School may audition. They have written, taught, perfected and performed their own patterns and songs. Depending on the show, the Ensemble performs drumming pieces, sings multi-cultural songs, plays recorder selections and presents Middle Eastern dances all while wearing traditional Arabic Costumes.
Maples goal is to continue and expand the ensemble to assist more students develop these qualities and skills that directly and positively impact their lives. It is our hope that we are providing wonderful building blocks to prepare them for successful life journeys.