Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

Last week's Soundtrack Sunday got me pondering about music in schools. Specifically, the elementary school play.

My kids have had very rare dramatic or musical theatre opportunities in school. In contrast, We did many plays, mostly musicals when I was a kid. What is probably scary or annoying in my case, is that I can still tell you most of the words to the songs.

First Grade-I had the tone deaf Mrs. Lipshitz. No musical instruction happened in that class, we ventured upstairs to Dr. Wheeler's class once a week for musical instruction.

Second Grade-No plays, but the very musical Mrs. Johnson was my teacher. (My favorite elementary teacher). She had a piano in the classroom and we sang every morning. There was this song that we sang about the weather, and changed it up according to what was going on:
"It is raining in the school yard, It is raining all around
falling lightly, falling lightly
to the sidewalk and ground"

What was even better is that she'd taken a trip to Hawaii with her family the previous summer. This inspired her to present a unit on Hawaii in the middle of winter, including a class luau. We learned several songs to go along with this, but the one that I still remember is this one:
"We are going to the huki lau
To the huki huki huki huki huki lau
Where the mau mau is the pau pau at the huki huki lau
We'll throw our nets out into the sea
and all the ahma ahma come a swimming to me
We are going to the huki lau
to the huki huki huki huki huki lau"

(Yes, at 7, I had it in my head that I must visit Hawaii, but I still haven't been)

Third Grade: I had another good teacher, Mrs. Curry. She had the bright idea of having a musical for our play, yet she didn't really play music. We practiced our parts in "The Planets of the Sun" along to a record album. Yes, I can share lyrics once again, but this time ,two songs!

The first song was "Zoom a little zoom in a rocket ship, off we go, on a trip
We're gonna zoom zoom, rocket" Yeah, hard stuff to learn-but I can repeat them 34 years later. Way to go, composer of this little school play full of information about the solar system that is now woefully out of date.

The other song was very informative about the sun, at least it's still accurate!
"The sun is a mass of incandescent gas, A giant nuclear furnace
where hydrogen is turned into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees
Yo Ho! its Hot! The sun is not! A place we could live
But here on earth there'd be no life without the light it gives"

Scared yet at how much I remember from elementary school? I can go a few more verses on that one-and did for Ed and the boys about a month ago!

Fourth Grade-Mrs. Meadowar decided that we were going to do a 'variety show' type play with jokes, songs and skits. The one song that I remember from that play was "Marezy Doats". Ever heard that one "Mairzy Doats and Doezy Doats and little lambs eat ivy, A kiddle eat ivy, too, wouldn't you?" It took a while for the class to realize the funky words on the dittos with the lyrics translated to
Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy
A kid'll eat ivy too, wouldn't you?
And referred to animals!

Fifth Grade-We celebrated the Bicentennial in the shared Kerner/Pressman classroom with an extravaganza of patriotic songs, and we all wore red, white and blue and waved flags. It was so vanilla that I remember we did this play, but can't tell you specifically what patriotic songs were sung!

Sixth Grade-Mrs. Altfest decided that the Bicentennial deserved an extended engagement and we did George M., as in George M. Cohan. It was a cool play, with us singing many of his hits, "Harrigan, That's Me", "You're A Grand Old Flag", "Over There", "Mary is a Grand Old Name" and about a dozen others. This helped me in trivia contests for many years, and gave me a song to sing to my sorta little sister when she was small.

I feel bad that the school budgets these days don't allow for experiences like this. The kids aren't going to have things like this to bring to you on their blogs in 30 years!

Later, an update on the migration east. :)


Mike Golch said…
Hawaii one of the places on my list as welll.But I kinda doubt that I'll get to any of the lists now that I don't drive.

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