Instrumental Music Returns to Dorsey High School – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

Teacher Jasmine Pope and her students enjoy a photo shoot during a music rehearsal. (photo courtesy)

In the current state of popular music today, many young people in Los Angeles do not have deep exposure to live instruments. It depends on the underlying platform.

Prior to this year, Dorsey High School had not had a live performance band since 2015. As a result, the aspiring songwriter, performer, and instrumentalist in the school community had to focus solely on programming his bass computer.

But now there is a change on the horizon. Enter Jasmine Pope, the new band teacher at Dorsey High School. Ms Pope has put into action a new vision of creating exposure to instrumental music for schools and communities. She created her schedule of courses including modern bands, performance bands, and listening to music.

The Performance Band delivered five performances this semester and were well received. The performance brought excitement, curiosity, interest and motivation to students and faculty at Dorsey High School.

Pope shows a joyful rhythm on the drums. (photo courtesy)

“It was inspiring and encouraging to see the joy that live performances generated among our students. We were proud to showcase the talent we have here at Dorsey High School,” said Pope. Told.

“It tapped into the creative energy and motivation of the students. Many students contacted me and inquired about joining the program and learning how to play an instrument.”

Jasmyne Pope was born in New York and graduated from Emerson College in Massachusetts with a BA in Creative Writing. She earned her master’s degree in African American and Film Studies from her NYU, where she also taught narrative journalism. She moved to Los Angeles in 2018 as a freelance script consultant. At her mother’s urging, she applied for her LAUSD teaching position. The 2019-20 pandemic year was her first school year.

As a substitute teacher, Pope has worked throughout LAUSD North, South, West and East. She speaks openly about her journey.

Members of the Dorsey Band pose with Jasmine Pope during a break. (photo courtesy)

“The biggest challenges for new teachers in Los Angeles are bureaucracy and unrealistic requirements. Requirements need to be reviewed and streamlined, different ways of measuring qualifications need to be developed,” said Pope, who is currently completing the tedious LAUSD credentialing process.

She also noticed resource disparities across school districts. “Students in underserved areas have less access to instrumental music. For example, the cost of owning an instrument and taking lessons can be a burden for many urban families. Space availability can also be an issue.The more I see the inequality, the more motivated I am to stay and try to make a difference and have now been in the district for four years,” the Pope said. .

Ms. Pope, classically trained as a pianist, seems to have found a home in Dorsey, and her students accept her.Denzel Dawson, 10 years oldth Grade’s drummer said, “This program has changed my life so much. It has helped me with grades, personality and anger issues. It gives me a positive focus to direct my energy.” ”

Destiny Martinez, 11th The Glade guitarist, singer and songwriter said: I met some great musicians and finally became part of the band. Making music has always been my passion. It is very comfortable to be in Mr. Pope’s room. This is honestly my second home and I can’t wait to make more music and memories with this program. ”

Maki Draper 10th Grade’s bassist and vocalist said: Ms. Pope gave me the opportunity to pass on my passion for music to a larger group and create her second family with the other members of this program. I am forever grateful for this experience and how it changed the trajectory of my life in a positive way.

Pope plans to expand the Modern Band program to include digital music production and engineering. “We are in touch with industry professionals such as DJ Mustard, one of the music industry’s top producers and Dorsey alumni.

“We would love to network with him to create an internship and conduct workshops on songwriting, production and publishing for students. We are also planning exciting field trips to concerts, the Grammy Museum and other engaging activities for students,” the Pope said.

With arts and music programs struggling in schools across the country, Dorsey High School is fortunate to have young, energetic teachers with creative vision who care about exposing students to the musical arts. am.

“MS. Pope is off to a great start. We will support and nurture this program to not only express musical talents and ideas, but to create a creative outlet for young people.” By doing so, we hope to have a positive impact on the school and the wider community so that it can continue to grow and develop, but to gain access and exposure to career opportunities within the music industry.” A fellow teacher said,

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