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Motion & Music Academy

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About The Program

In the Fall of 2020, The Mann Center launched Motion & Music Academy, a year-round, after-school and summer arts learning program designed to provide quality choir, drumming, and dance classes to students of the Parkside neighborhood.

Motion & Music Academy is the result of a proud partnership between the Mann, Pennsylvania Ballet, Sister Cities Girlchoir, and Mad Beatz Philly with the intention of providing quality arts instruction and concert experiences. Under the leadership of Dr. Naomi Johnson-Booker, Global Leadership Academy will serve as the flagship school for this exciting new program, continuing the long-standing relationship between GLA and the Mann.

As Motion & Music Academy has shifted to a fully virtual operation, scholars have elected to participate in classes focusing on either choir, drumming, or dance. Upon the switch to an in-person schedule, all participating scholars will join voices in choir and then elect to learn dance technique (ballet and African dance) or drumline percussion as a secondary arts offering.

“Drumming, singing, and dancing were chosen as the focus for our Motion & Music Academy because each of these activities promote culture awareness and inclusivity,” says Naomi Gonzalez, Vice President of Education & Community Engagement at the Mann. “We find that students understand the fundamentals of music when a cultural context is provided that allows them to learn the music’s rich history, feel it, and connect to it.”

Motion & Music Academy is driven by three pillars.

Access & Excellence

Regardless of zip code, all children deserve arts education and access to new arts experiences such as concerts, art exhibits, and the opportunity to perform for others.

Culturally Responsive Arts Education

Students will receive arts instruction representative of multiple traditions and culture across the board, providing a rich and inclusive curriculum.


We will have a strong focus on bolstering community through the arts, both within the internal initiative community (student to student and families to families), and more broadly through our reach into the local Philadelphia community.

More Information

For more information on the Mann's Motion & Music Academy, please contact Naomi Gonzalez, Vice President of Education & Community Engagement, at


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