________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 10 . . . .January 20, 2006


Music for Whose Ears. (My Brand New Life).

David ‘Sudz’ Sutherland & Kaveh Nabatian (Directors). Ina Fichman (La Fête Producer). Pierre Lapointe (NFB Producer). Ina Fichman (La Fête Executive Producer). Sally Bochner (NFB Executive Producer).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 2004.
23 min., 33 sec., VHS, $99.95.
Order Number: C9104 036.

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.

Review by Stephanie Yamniuk.

**** /4



Music For Whose Ears is part of a 13-part series called “My Brand New Life.” This series works to challenge young viewers to question their preconceptions and prejudices and encourages them to expand their cultural horizons. Printed materials on the inside cover of each video connects the videos’ contents to one or more curriculum links such as social studies, health, geography and history (12 categories in all). This particular video can be linked to Social Studies, Health, Geography, Art and Music.

     In Music For Whose Ears, viewers spend a week with two young people who are immersed in another culture within their own Canada. We see their discoveries, experience their distress, and hear in their own words their acknowledgment of preconceptions.

     Ray is from a South-Asian family that lives in Ontario. Their lives are filled with music and dance. Ray, an accomplished dancer and musician, goes to Moncton, New Brunswick, to meet Melanie and her family, where the Acadian tradition of music and dance is also an important part of life. Both Melanie and Ray have grown up playing an instrument in a traditional way, but for one week, they discover the rhythms and melodies from each other’s cultures.

     Both students experience different cultural traditions in food, entertainment, family life and expressing emotions. At the end of each day, Ray and Melanie discuss their feelings about what they saw and experienced during that day, trying to understand and make sense of the differences. They look for the similarities sometimes and other times experience something so different from their own life experience that they are without words.

     This video offers students an opportunity to discuss different cultures as well as the power of music and dance to bridge differences. How does music make you feel? When do you listen to music, and what effect does it have on you?

Highly Recommended.

A resident of Winnipeg, MB, Stephanie Yamniuk is a freelance writer and has taught grade 1 and grade 12.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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