Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Stars and Stripes

For the first few years that I was a music teacher I spent almost all of my time in class on theory, world music, playing instruments, learning the instrument families and playing circle games. One day it dawned on me...I wasn't teaching these children any songs that are the foundation to this country. 

We were standing at the second year band tour last year for the Star Spangled Banner and I realized, I am responsible for students knowing these songs. So many of these songs are part of 4th of July celebrations and sporting events that it would be negligent not to teach them. I decided that they would not be learning these songs from anywhere or anyone else so it was time for me to spend time in one or more grade levels teaching these historically rich pieces of music to them.

I finally decided that 3rd grade would be the best age group for this music and that they would have the intellect necessary to deduce meaning from these pieces of music. We are just starting this unit and I feel confident that they will enjoy it. We will be learning about the composers, what was going on at the time, the rhythms as well as melodies used and even play the melodies and rhythms on some of our classroom instruments. 

I finally feel that as their music teacher that I am doing justice to some of the best written pieces of music by American composers and lyricists.

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