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5th grade Kyrgyzstan Project

February 23, 2021 | Aiko Mauldin

The 5th grade students started learning about and being in communication with students in Osh, Kyrgyzstan! This exciting project started with an invitation from our Artist in Residence Ms. Litman. The students in Asia Cambridge Private School that are taking English classes wanted to learn more about the USA and the 5th grade class was ready to be the ambassadors!



Ms. Litman introducing the project.

Due to the time difference (they are 11 hours ahead of us!) it was impossible for us to have real-time communication, but we met them through pre-recorded videos. Ms. Litman and Mrs. Mauldin would meet the Kyrgyz students every Wednesday at 9:30 pm over Zoom, Mrs. Mauldin would pass on all the messages and challenges, as well as questions to our students in music class on Fridays. 


Kyrgyz students led by their teacher, Ms. Mamasalieva, sing Ms. Litman and Ms. Mauldin “Free at Last” over Zoom.

So far the 5th grade students introduced themselves in English, and received a video from students in Osh greeting back in English. Then they learned how to say “Hello my name is…” in Kyrgyz and sent a video of greeting again.  The 5th grade also taught the song “Free at Last”, an African American Spiritual, to the Kyrgyz students which they sang it back to us on the video! They have been learning to communicate using simple language, speaking slowly and clearly for the Kyrgyz students to understand, while keeping the communication interesting and unique.

Henry saying “Hello, my name is Henry” in Kyrgyz, which sounds like: Salaam, meh-neen atem Henry”.


Watching a video of a Kyygyz student telling us where she lives and how she loves it.

The 5th grade class is going to learn a song in Kyrgyz. Stay tuned on how that is going to turn out!

Aiko Mauldin

Coleman Fung Chair for Music; Director of Songsters, Choristers, and Music Educator for Grades K-5; Worship Leader

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Aiko Mauldin started her musical training at the age of three when her mother enrolled her at a piano studio next door so that she could have peace and quiet for 30 minutes a week. Ms. Mauldin soon fell in love with Beethoven, Mozart, Debussy, Liszt, and especially Bach. She had her first official debut performance at the age of 11 at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England. At this time, Ms. Mauldin did not speak any English, but she soon discovered the power of music as a language permeating all cultures and nations. Through her love of music, she has made lifelong friends.

Since her childhood, Ms. Mauldin has moved from place to place, including Tokyo, London, San Francisco, New York, New Orleans, and of course, New Jersey. Her favorite thing to do when not teaching or playing the piano is to cook food from different cultures and to enjoy it with her family. Her favorite quote is from her mother: "I never dreamed that you would be performing recorders at Carnegie Hall!"

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