Haitian songstress Emeline Michel will perform a few of her classic hits at Carnegie Hall on Dec. 16. The singer is performing at “My City, My Song,” a family-oriented show that is part of the center’s Musical Explorers program — an in-class musical education segment in several city schools. It is one of the few opportunities youngsters get to learn about other cultures through music, said Michel.
“Introducing children to cultures through music is wonderful — because we introduce them to something very different from what they might not hear on the radio or on television,” she said.
Michel is set to perform her hit song, “A.K.I.K.O,” which students in select kindergarten to second grade classes, have already learned about. She says the well-loved song is a must-play anywhere she performs because of how popular it is across cultural lines, and adds that the its catchiness makes it a perfect kid-friendly song.
“Every time I travel or tour, whether it’s in Haiti or other countries, for some reason there’s something in that song’s composition that people love,” she said. “And I know that song would resonate with children because the melody is very catchy and it’s a fun song.”
She will be performing with Georgian singer Ilusha Tsinadze and American singer Imani Uzuri, who are both going to sing Georgian folk and civil rights era songs respectively. All the singers will perform a separate segment and conclude with a mashup, according to Michel.
Every year Carnegie Hall in collaboration with artists from all over the world, launches their Musical Explorers program into schools to connect children with global music. In class they learn about harmonies, melodies, and the lyrics of the artists in the program. It is a very important subject for school-aged children because it teaches them beneficial people-skills they need, added Michel.
“The program is necessary because it teaches children that you can come from a different culture, place, or background, and still be accepting and more understanding of that,” she said. “It doesn’t mean you can’t respect each other, and this program nails that through at such an early age and opens their eyes.”
“My City, My Song” at Carnegie Hall [881 7th Ave. between W. 56th and W. 57th streets in Manhattan, (212) 247-7800, www.carne