Halle Dinkle: The Continuing Adventures of a General Music Teacher

Cartoonist Tom Batiuk creates the MENC-exclusive Halle Dinkle comic strip, as well as comic icon Funky Winkerbean. Batiuk is an MENC Lowell Mason Fellow, honored for his work to advance the cause of music education.

Batiuk and his wife Cathy took a long-anticipated trip to the continent of Africa a few weeks ago. During the trip he was reminded of the unexpected role music can play in everyday life. Batiuk offers a new Halle Dinkle strip (below) as well as his account of a special moment on the trip. He also shares video he shot. (see below)


“During a recent climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, I discovered that music is never really far away. As we came into our camp at Arrow Glacier late one afternoon, wafting through the rarified air came the sound of some beautiful male voices from one of the tents. Upon investigating further, we found that it came from a tent where our porters had gathered to sing some traditional songs in Swahili. We were fortunate to be able to capture a few moments of it on video.

“I learned two things that chilly afternoon. One, things can still waft at over three miles high. And, two, even far from civilization in a challenging environment, music still has the ability to lift the spirits of a tired body and a weary soul.”—Tom Batiuk


Batiuk’s Mt. Kilimanjaro video


Roz Fehr, April 15, 2010 © MENC: The National Association for Music Education