By LISA SIMPSON STRANGE
Glasgow Daily Times
A third-grader at a local elementary will be helping to promote the arts in public schools around the world through her singing.
Nayna Nambiar, 8, is a student in Sherry Bishop’s class at Highland Elementary, and Tuesday morning she took the microphone from her music teacher, Amanda Taylor, and sang “Each One Teach One” for the first time in public to a gym full of students, teachers and guests.
Highland students were the first people officially to hear the song, Taylor said.
The music is part of a project of the MuzArt World Foundation, which is working to “demonstrate how the power of a song can empower children across the globe (with) the understanding they can make a difference,” according to the foundation’s website.
Nambiar became involved with the song when her former vocal and piano teacher introduced her to it.
“Nayna came to us this year from New Jersey and her former vocal teacher and piano teacher (Gloria Brown) contacted me and said, ‘We have a song and Nayna has learned it. She’s going to be one of the kids around the world who will be singing it as a promotion to keep the arts in public schools and it’s through a foundation called MuzArt,’” Taylor said. “So I had a conference call with (Brown) and the producer, Pat Melfi, about a week ago and they just gave me some more information and asked that Highland become the pilot school – since we have Nayna – to get the ball rolling.”
The MuzArt project will develop the song in audio and visual forms to be released to mainstream media around the world using performances by school children. The proceeds will benefit global children’s charities and will also place an emphasis on retaining arts education in public schools, according to information from the foundation’s website.
Ken Kragen, founder and creator of “We Are the World,” “Hands Across America,” and “Live Aid” along with Melfi, former vice president of MCA and music management promoter, are the project’s producers.
Melfi is a five-time Promoter of the Year and concert tour management for The Eagles, Alabama, Rod Stewart and Tom Petty & The HeartBreakers, according to the website.
Nambiar is currently one of only 10 children worldwide who is preparing to record the song.
Taylor said she is extremely proud of Nayna and the time she has put into this project.
“She’s worked very hard and she’s done all this work on Skype (a software application that allows users to make voice and video calls and chats over the Internet) with her vocal teacher in New Jersey, which is really great,” Taylor said.
Nayna moved to Glasgow from New Jersey a couple of months ago with her parents, father, Sudheer Nambiar, MD, and mother, Asha Nambiar, MD, who are both new physicians at T.J. Samson Community Hospital.
Nayna said she has been “practicing and practicing” the song, but that “it’s really surprising” for her still that she has such an important role in the project.
It just goes to show that everyone has contributions to make even if they aren’t on the same scale as what Nayna is accomplishing, according to Taylor.
“We can all make a difference, even if it’s something small,” she said.
After getting the song recorded and disseminated on the Internet and having school children all over the world learn it, organizers want to put together a series of songs and market them to raise money. Eventually they plan to have a live group performance, according to the website.
“They’re hoping that in 2014 we can go to (Washington, D.C.) and sing it on the steps of the Capitol,” said Taylor. “They’re trying to get 1,000 singers. That could change because it’s in the beginning stages of everything.”
Highland Elementary Principal Sharon Flowers is enthusiastic that one of her students is involved in such an important undertaking with far-reaching effects that could make a difference in other people’s lives globally.
“How exciting is that? There are big things to come out of that. I’m glad to be here to be a part of it,” she said.
“This is a really big deal,” added Todd Woodward, another Highland teacher and music educator.
For more information, visit www.Muzartworld.org.