February/March Music Notes

We had the best February ever!! Studying the Songs of the South has always been a passion for me! We learned a Civil War Medley, songs about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, and songs sung by the slaves as they tried to keep a rhythm while picking cotton.
Then we discovered Ragtime and the music of Scott Joplin. The children loved learning facts about the life of this musician as well as listening to his music. We learned how music traveled on the riverboats from Louisiana to Chicago, then spread throughout the country. This resulted in the birth of a new and unique form of music called Jazz!
March will find us getting ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the music of Ireland. Because Ireland is an island, sailors used music to provide a rhythm for their tasks. In February, we learned how the slaves used music as they picked cotton. Sailors, too, would hoist lines and raise sails to the rhythm of their rousing songs.
This month we will learn Irish folksongs. The leprechauns will be smiling as we learn “The Leprechauns are Marching” and “Follow the Rainbow.” Our primary youngsters will sing “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb” in honor of our changing season. If you’d like to hear a song from Thursday’s (March 7) music class, please check out Los Paseos Elementary School on Facebook!
On our list of composers, we will study the lives of Vivaldi, Bach and Beethoven. Hopefully, we’ll also have time to study Prokofiev. Prokofiev was a Russian composer who believed the children of Moscow should be able to easily recognize the sounds of various instruments. He wrote the classic “Peter and the Wolf” to accomplish that goal.
I am so proud of our recorder students (5th graders). Students have learned note value, musical symbols, and basic rhythm. Now we will be able to put this learning into practical application!
As you may know, I am the Musical Director of Freedom Fest’s Patriotic Sing held on July 3rd in Morgan Hill. Be watching for announcements regarding our essay contest for students in 2nd through 5th grade. Our topic this year is “What is your favorite Patriotic song? Why?” I would love to have entries from Los Paseos. And, perhaps our amazing school will have a winner! Essays will be due April 25.
And, I would love to have our Los Paseos Panthers be a part of Morgan Hill’s Freedom Fest Patriotic Sing to be held on July 3rd. The Patriotic Sing has honored “Those Who Serve” for over 30 years. We have several rehearsals prior to our performance. Our first rehearsal will be on May 28. I will send along additional information.
Karen Ann Crane