Kate Ferris at Domain Elementary School
Artists in the Schools Residency Program
May 6 – 10, 2013
In the small rural school of Domain Elementary, songwriter, and storyteller Kate Ferris spent a week in May leading students in grades K-8 through the journey of songwriting, drum-making, and storytelling.
The 26 students in the school worked together to build their drums. The older students, many with younger siblings, gave a helping hand to the kindergarten to grade 4 students. The drums became the backbone of the songwriting as Kate asked students in grades 5 to 8 to establish a rhythm for their song from a popular song.
“Ms Ferris guided the students but didn’t push them for a specific outcome.”…Ms Mary Wheeler. Ms Barbara Batulla heard the students saying, “Kate was fair and listen to their suggestions.”
The primary students wrote 2 songs in record time, while the intermediate students wrote a more complex song with the help of Principal Miranda Johnson.
“One of my highlights,” said Kate, “my lyric input: 5% and kids lyric input: 95%. Both groups were great!”
Domain Elementary is the community gathering place of this Manitoba hamlet. After a week of creating and rehearsing their songs, the students performed for their mothers, grandmothers, and aunts at the community’s Mother’s Day Tea. What a great end to an exciting week!