Tag Archives: Tsam

BME- The Black Music Experience MS/HS (TSam)

Describing the African-American influence on American music in all of its glory and variety is an intimidating—if not impossible—task. African American influences are so fundamental to American music that there would be no American music without them. People of African descent were among the earliest non-indigenous settlers of what would become the United States, and the rich African musical heritage that they carried with them was part of the foundation of a new American musical culture that mixed African traditions with those of Europe and the Americas. Their work songs, dance tunes, and religious music—and the syncopated, swung, remixed, rocked, and rapped music of their descendants—would become the lingua franca of American music, eventually influencing Americans of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. The music of African Americans is one of the most poetic and inescapable examples of the importance of the African American experience to the cultural heritage of all Americans, regardless of race or origin.” – Steven Lewis (Music historian)

In this class, we will be exploring the black experience through the lens of music. We will spend time in more popular genres, but also take time to explore lesser-known styles including the blues, jazz, gospel, and African and Caribbean music genres.

Requirements & Materials- Students will need to have their own headphones, a Spotify account, and the ability to download and listen to music files.

Civics (MS/HS) (TSam)

“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask why you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy

Civics is a class for students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for active participation in a democratic society. Also, it will allow participants to become informed citizens in regard to the principal purpose and function of their local, state, and federal government. In addition, the origins of the American political system are addressed, as are the roles, rights, and responsibilities of United States citizens.

Afro Indigenous History (cont) HS (TSam)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.


  • American History

The first intersectional history of the Black and Native American struggle for freedom in our country also reframes our understanding of who was Indigenous in early America.

Beginning with pre-Revolutionary America and moving into the movement for Black lives and contemporary Indigenous activism, Afro-Indigenous historian Kyle T. Mays argues that the foundations of the US are rooted in anti-blackness and settler colonialism and that these parallel oppressions continue into the present. He explores how Black and Indigenous peoples have always resisted and struggled for freedom, sometimes together, and sometimes apart. Whether to end African enslavement and Indigenous removal or eradicate capitalism and colonialism, Mays shows how the fervor of Black and Indigenous peoples’ calls for justice have consistently sought to uproot white supremacy.

Mays uses a wide array of historical activists and pop culture icons, “sacred” texts, and foundational texts like the Declaration of Independence and Democracy in America. He covers the civil rights movement and freedom struggles of the 1960s and 1970s and explores current debates around the use of Native American imagery and the cultural appropriation of Black culture. Mays compels us to rethink both our history as well as contemporary debates and to imagine the powerful possibilities of Afro-Indigenous solidarity.

Linguistic Anthropology HS (TSam)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.


Linguistic anthropology is a branch of anthropology that studies the role of language in the social lives of individuals and communities. Linguistic anthropology explores how language shapes communication. Language plays a huge role in social identity, group membership, and establishing cultural beliefs and ideologies.

In this class, we will explore the history of language and its importance in the past to the modern world.  Students will engage in the exploration of various languages in audible & written form while exercising and decoding information in a research-based environment.

Cinema – HS (year long) (TSam)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

The film industry has been a constant element that was created to express the ideas of others. Through film, we can see deep ideas from people whose expressions can capture moments from the past looking into the future. While it’s hard to see every film that has ever been made, we can center ourselves around so many elements of several movies and experience a connection that surpasses both time and space. In the class, we will participate in watching films from a large number of different styles and use those moments to expand our knowledge of these amazing selections of work. There will be in-class discussions along with essay writing (group project) to help us convey our thoughts and stretch our thinking.

Mature Themes: Words and images can be inappropriate for some students.

Scientific Research & Skills (TSam)

The subject of Science is constantly changing as we seek to learn more. For this class, we will take an academic approach to science by reading, analyzing data, and researching the most talked about topics that are capturing the attention of this global community. You will also have the chance to tackle subjects that you’re interested in while developing your research skills and advancing your ability to present your findings

Podcast/AV (TSam)

Podcasting has now become one of the coolest ways to acquire information in the present, digital age. While traveling, exercising, or relaxing; your average person is usually tuned into their favorite show. Recently, the popularity of podcasts took to new heights with the deep interest in shows like True Crime, and other mystery-based, story-led programs. Whether you’re into listening to podcasts or always wanted to create your own, this is the class for you.

Also, this class will double as a space for our new starting Audio/Visual Club! The purpose of this club is to help create a new culture around filming our school events while keeping our audio (and other video effects) in great working order. This club will be a starting point for a permanent need in our community. We will learn/enhance our skills in camera work, audio sourcing, mixing, and making sure lighting and other visual needs are being met on a high level.

EMC – Electronic Music Collective (DJ Edition) l (TSam)

Djing has become one of the most skillful musical forms of expression over the last 50 years. Through its early days in New York, MCs and DJs have been able to successfully keep so much music alive, while constantly evolving to make space for other styles and genres to emerge. In today’s current era, making music has become more accessible due to the use of laptops, iPads, and even cell phones. The only question that remains is what can a person do versus what has not been done yet.

In this class, I show you the basics of how to effectively mix songs and create new ones. There will be moments of exploration and collaboration. Also, expect to learn various techniques, sampling, sound engineering, song curation, music history, and uncommon genre exploration.

Required materials: You need to have a computer that can run specific music software (TBD) and be able to successfully download music files (repeatedly) from the internet. Also, you must have your own headphones.