Pleasant Street Elementary School students spent the past several months working on a song writing project with me as an artist-in-residence.  Working with students during their music class, music teacher Laura Ackert's students were encouraged to brainstorm ideas for song titles.  Formerly the music teacher at Dan Emmett Elementary, Laura said "last year my students and I worked with Sarah writing songs about science.  The project was so much fun and so successful that I was really eager to work with Sarah again.  I wanted to try and recreate the experience with my new students."   Incorporating the state standards in Language Arts, students made lists of potential song titles.   From the chosen song titles, the students shaped the story of the songs and created a chorus while Laura and I took notes on big rolls of paper which could be rolled up and brought back out for further use when fine tuning the writing.  I said, "This beats using the chalkboard and frantically copying and erasing before the next group comes in!"  The original tunes seemed to emerge from the words the children wrote, as did the stories.  Many of the ideas were related to life at school and "School Rocks!" became the title of the project.       The fifth grade wrote the song "What's This Doing Here?' about their messy desks, lockers and backpacks while the second grade generated a clever song called "Antonym Land", bringing to life knowledge they have gained this year about synonyms and antonyms.  "The Mysterious Case of the Missing Homework" is a story the third grade wrote about "Detective Sherlock Homework" leading the search for a missing assignment.  The Kindergarten classes wrote a new version of the ABC song using words that start with each letter of the alphabet.  Two other songs take place after the school is closed for the night following a story line similar to the movie "A Night at the Museum."  "After Hours", the song the fourth grade wrote, imagines the equipment and supplies in the music room, art room and gym coming to life at night after the kids go home and the first grade's song imagines their favorite story book characters coming to life in "The Library." Every student in the school was involved in the writing, learning and recording of the album.  Fifth grade students Fredi Bockover, Jenna Williams and Jacob Grimes designed the covers and label for the CDs.  Several songs feature percussion instruments played by students and 4th grade teacher, Jim Thayer, added percussion on "After Hours."  Principal Karen Boylan can even be heard on one of the songs.  "School Rocks!" is available for $5 through me by emailing me or through Brian Ackert's website listed on my links page (web.mac.com/backert/music) It is also available at Paragraph's Book Store on South Main St. in Mount Vernon, Ohio.

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Upcoming shows:

  • Sep 2
    Hale Farm and Village,  Bath
     
  • Sep 9
    Owl Creek Baptist Church,  Mount Vernon
     
  • Oct 6
    Main Street Mount Vernon,  Mount Vernon
     
  • Oct 12
    Memorial Theater,  Mount Vernon
     

Sarah Goslee Reed Music

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