Movement Lesson: Building Empathy

In this movement and music lesson from Manju Durairaj, Building Empathy Through Diverse Children’s Literature, educators utilize children’s books to guide their students through exercises designed to increase empathy, challenge stereotypes, and encourage friendships.

“Learning to stand in somebody else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, that’s how peace begins.  And it’s up to you to make that  happen.  Empathy is a quality of character that can  change the world.” – Barack Obama

About Manju Durairaj

Manju Durairaj

Manju Durairaj was born and raised in India. She studied at the University of Pune, India, where she obtained a BS in Mathematics. She was involved in graduate research projects on comparative pedagogical practices of Indian (Carnatic) and Western Music at Middlesex University, London, UK. She graduated with her second master’s degree in music education from VanderCook College of Music, Chicago. Manju is also certified in Orff-Schulwerk, completing her levels at George Mason University, with master classes at University of St. Thomas, and at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria. Manju currently teaches Pre K-4 general music at the Latin School of Chicago. She is past president of the Greater Chicago Orff Chapter. She is a SMART certified trainer. She is an Adjunct Professor in Elementary General Music at VanderCook College of Music, Chicago. She is on the Diversity Commission of the National American Orff Schulwerk Association and on the Elementary General Music Council of IL Music Education Association. She has presented at ISME, AOSA, OAKE, NAfME, MKMEA, IMEA, ILMEA, WMEA, TMEA and other international and national conferences. She has been published in the Orff Echo, Reverberations, Illinois Music Educators Journal, and the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. Her publications with Hal Leonard include InterAct with Music Assessment Levels 1 and 2, and Technology in Today’s Music Classroom.


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