Oberlin Alumni Magazine Spring 2001 vol.96 no.4
Feature Stories
Planet Earth
High Atop Wilder
[cover story] Creating a Scene
You've Got Mail: Now What?
Experience, Exposure & Enlightenment
Body Art
Message from the Board of Trustees
Around Tappan Square
Oberlin Partnership sharpens Economic Development
Composing a Career
President Dye's Sabbatical
Closing Institutional Devides
In Brief
Alumni Notes: Profile
Alumni Notes: Losses
The Last Word
Staff Box
One More Thing
This Guy's Passionate over Kids' Education
19148 Pg 51He's a citizen of Israel, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. He's lived in South Africa and Mexico and speaks and performs in several languages. He's been described as an educator, an activist, a singer, and a composer. But since his graduation in 1999, Oberlin has been Guy Mendilow's home.

"I have a great love for the voice," says Guy, whose debut album, Wood, Steel & Spirit, falls loosely into the categories of world music or folk. At age 10, on a dare from friends, he auditioned for the American Boychoir and toured internationally for three years. Solo performances followed: on the boardwalks in Eilat, Israel, at age 15; in regular appearances in cafés and bars; and later, at rallies and protests for issues of peace and justice.

An environmental studies major at Oberlin, Guy graduated to discover yet another passion: the education of children. He coordinated a music program at the nearby Lucy Idol Center for severely handicapped individuals, then served as an artist-in-residence at the Oberlin Early Childhood Center and at an Elyria school. Through an arts education program called KIDsmART, Guy and his assistant, Brendan Cooney, a double-degree senior, led the children through movement exercises and hands-on activities to teach pitch, texture, rhythm, composition, and improvisation. Guy then coordinated a traveling version of the program, KIDsmART on the Road: A Traveling Art Troupe, which he says empowers teachers to create situations that engage as much of a child as possible in the learning process.

"KIDsmART is a program that embodies all the things I was most interested in as a student," says Guy. "The program is based on Howard Gardner's philosophy of Multiple Intelligences, the Italian Reggio Emilia approach to documenting children's work, and on Abraham Maslow's theories of humanistic psychology and the hierarchy of needs on the way to self-actualization. I feel that it's important to teach children using this method because the world needs leaders and visionaries, and this is one way to create them."

Various art forms, he says, can enhance scholastic lessons by engaging several senses at once and targeting different intelligences, like the linguistic, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, naturalistic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, or bodily-kinesthetic intelligences. "Working with children and focusing on these abilities builds confidence and awakens their imaginations, which leads to self-esteem and self-expression."

As an outgrowth of KIDsmART, Guy will coordinate a summer arts and adventure project for a children's center in nearby Avon. Art, gardening, and nature experiences will encourage kids to explore both new environments and solutions to challenges.

A songleader at the November 2000 protest of the School of Americas in Ft. Benning, Georgia, Guy is hoping to further travel and perform following the release of his CD in May. "It will be nice to have some time to practice and compose." says the alum. "I think that whatever I do, though, I'll be able to plug into projects that embody ideals I value. It's important for me to have work that's fulfilling; being able to do that is really a blessing."
--by Sue Kropp '99

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