Beginning

Ms. Ramos and I are interested in enhancing the 4th grade social studies curriculum, which includes study of United States history. Their homeroom teacher, Ms. Spector, was interested in exploring the concept of work with the kids. So, the students will compare and contrast work songs from the United States to complement their economics units in their homeroom. They will also write their own lyrics and tune for a work song, after learning the structural elements work songs have in common. Through this work, we hope the students will better appreciate the potential power of music as a communicative and motivational device; (What are songs actually for? Why do we write songs? How do songs capture historical and cultural identities? How does music make work easier?) and create a song for themselves to assist with internalizing good “kid work” habits!

 

Student #1

Bright student. Verbally expressive, but written work varies from excellent to below average. But she participates actively and is always first to catch on to new concepts. I am curious as to whether the variance in her written work is due to boredom, or issues with second language acquisition.

 

Student #2

Teachers told me that this student has struggled since kindergarten. He is very engaged by singing and movement and although sometimes disruptive, is good-natured, not negative. I hope the performance elements of our work bring out his true potential.

Student #3

This student is very bright, quiet, and seemingly achieving at potentiality. I’ll be interested to see how he responds to the creative components of our work, such as performing or writing music.

 

 

Middle

Student #1

 

This class required a lot of reiteration, but by the end of the year, they were able to tell us why a salaried job was preferable to an hourly wage position.

Student #2

[jwplayer mediaid=”3125″]We are so proud of this little guy! His teachers say he is blossoming this year! I noticed recently that he was inattentive because he had already completed the written assignment I had given, while other children were barely started. I asked him to compose a work song by himself so that he would not be bored. The next time I saw him, he performed this piece, inspired by a pop song you may recognize. He is catching on to key concepts that other kids miss and articulating them well in written English.

Student #3

End

 

We enjoyed creating choregography for a Tall Tale song, Froggy Goes A’Courtin’, with Shalaka Kulkarni, a teaching artist graduate student from Columbia University! The students will add choreography to their work song, “I’ve Got a School Job and I Know It”; this is particularly appropriate because work songs existed, in part, to coordinate the movements of workers towing boats (Volga Boatmen) or working on the railways (When Paddy Worked On the Railway, Take This Hammer), for instance. The students have studied the exclamations associated with work songs too, such as “Hah!” and have included their own in their song: “Oooh ooh, me!”; as in a student eager to be called upon to answer a question in class.

Student #1

 

Student #2

Frogs jumping!

Student #3

 

Year One
2011-2012
Year Two
2012-2013
Year Three
2013-2014

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