By Liz Buchanan
This week, I’m launching an eight week song-writing process with first graders at a public school in Boston. Through a residency sponsored by VSA (Very Special Arts) of Massachusetts I’ll be meeting with each of five different Grade 1 classrooms for thirty-five minutes a week. The experience of analyzing songs with various structures and musical styles, and then writing original songs as a class will provide great reading and writing practice for the students, and will be enriching for me as a songwriter as well! The lessons will address MA curriculum frameworks in English Language Arts as well as potentially in social studies or science. But the more important thing is that while learning, we’ll also be singing and having some serious fun in school! What a concept, in this era of meeting the standards and teaching to the test. I repeat, we’ll have FUN – in school!!!
I plan to blog regularly as this process continues. For now, here’s a video about some other CMN colleagues who regularly go into schools and write songs with students, David and Jenny Heitler-Klevans, aka Two of a Kind.
Liz Buchanan is President of The Children’s Music Network.