To commemorate Black History Month, one Brooklyn museum will be educating and entertaining kids the best way it can -- through song.
Throughout February at the Brooklyn Children's Museum, some of the borough's favorite ensembles will teach kids about African-American and Caribbean history and culture.
Kinneret Kohn, spokeswoman, said the month-long celebrations, which they have been hosting for the past few years, will showcase musical talent to the different cultures that make up the borough.
"Whether it's celebrating individuals who have made a big impact or the emerging cultures of the African Diaspora, we have a number of special celebrations through the arts," Kohn said. "Many of the performers have been performing here for years. They have a connection not only to the museum community but also to Brooklyn."
With the reopening of the museum's Commons Theatre, Kohn said they expect to host hundreds of guests to the musical performances as well as the Feb. 17 reading of the tale, "Anansi the African Spiderman."
One of those performances will be the Noel Pointer Foundation's Phantazia Strings. The group of student string players will perform on Feb. 28, with Krystle Ford conducting.
"Music is just a form of teaching tool," Ford said. "It's really a narrative to teach what was going on in that particular time in history."
Ford said the ensemble will teach children about black composers and their roles in history and music. Engaging the students in song, the strings group will play a range of genres that remain a vital part of African-American culture, from hymns and the blues to jazz and modern-day song.
"All kids don't learn just from reading and writing. Some kids are more artistic, so it's just another way to reach them," Ford said. "It's one thing to read about what was going on in history, but it's another thing to hear what was happening."
Children will also be learning the rhythms of percussion. Grace Drums will be performing a variety of music from West Africa and the Caribbean, hoping to demonstrate the range of African cultures expressed through drum and song.
"We remind them of how uplifting and vital their creativity is to this world," said Gabriella Dennery, director of Grace Drums. "There will be a lot of audience participation, which adds to the fun for children and their parents."
Many of the performances are supported by the Tiger Baron Foundation, a non-profit organization that strives to break the cycle of poverty in New York City.
"We want to service the kids in this neighborhood," said Ford, who has taught music in New York for the past five years. "I don't think people should have to leave their neighborhoods to get certain services. You have a grocery store, you have a post office, and I think you should be able to take music lessons and do all sorts of recreational things, too."
Thurs. Feb 12: Tales of Wonder; 11:30 am, 2:30 pm
Tues. Feb. 17: Reading of "Anansi the African Spiderman" 11:30 am, 2:30 pm
Wed. Feb 18: Celebrating Dr. Mae Jemison; 11:30 am, 2:30 pm
Thurs. Feb. 19: Black History Month Sing-a-long; 6:00 pm
Fri. Feb. 20: Jammin' Out, 11:30 am; 2:30 pm
Sat. Feb. 21: Unbought and Unbossed: Celebrating Shirley Chisolm; 11:30 am
Sat. Feb. 21: Arts of the African Diaspora; 12:30 pm
Sat. Feb. 21: Cultural Connections Performances: Grace Drums; 2:00 pm