Final Reflections

This was a very rich project unit with multi-cultural learning, poetic writing, environmental sound sampling, and complex ensemble playing all ending up integrated in the final product, which was a rap about Humboldt Park set to ostinati, or beats, created on Puerto Rican instruments. We taught rap and sampling going back to the griots of West Africa and using excerpts of NPR programming and Ice-T’s hip hop documentary. We progressed to Puerto Rican culture and musical sounds through examining West Side Story and Tito Puente. We sampled sounds from the immediate neighborhood and mapped them (below) with the hope of including them in our final rap. We found commonalities in African American and Puerto Rican culture and fused all the artistic elements into a rap with homemade beats, parts of which were recorded in Garage Band with separate teams of students. Sadly, Lafayette School will be closed after this school year. I hope that the rap will provide a positive memory for these students of both the school and their classmates, as well as a model for exploring cultural commonalities, as they move to new educational communities.


Year One
Year Two
Year Three

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