Arts Residency at Sacajawea Elementary

I just got back from a whirl-wind trip through Western Europe!  It was a spectacular trip though Spain, France, Scotland, Italy, and Germany, taking place over the course of 4 months. Ok, so I didn’t leave Seattle, but I did lead the students Sacajawea Elementary in a three-tiered music residency exploring art music, folk songs, and dances of Western Europe.

Back in October, we kicked off our adventure with a  multi-media assembly program.  The program opened with a traditional piano solo from Spain, the Malagueña.  I also performed  piano pieces from Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, Austrian born Wolfgang Amadeus  Mozart,  and a French composer, Madame Cécile Chaminade.  We all sang along to Here Comes the Sun from England’s Fab Four, also known as the Beatles. The assembly culminated with a  few dance steps and a sing-along to Italy’s traditional song, Funiculi Funicula.  It was a treat to play on the newly tuned piano to such a lively and engaged group of students!

In January, I visited 13 classrooms (grades preK-5th),  where teachers choose between two different workshops:  Make it Shake it Rhythm Party: the Sounds of Italy and Spain or Folk Songs and Dances of Western Europe.  The classroom visits were a fine opportunity to engage with the students on a personal level as well as explore a variety of folk songs in German, French, Spanish, and English.  We danced the fiery tarantella, and the younger students crafted colorful tambourines. 
 Yesterday, we met in a Monday morning assembly where I led the children in song and dance as they demonstrated what they had learned during the residency.  The younger students brought their rhythm instruments to shake along with the program.  Thank you to Sharon Rings, an inspiring teacher from Sacajawea Elementary, for organizing such a  vibrant arts experience for the students of Sacajawea! Thanks to the PTA of Sacajawea for sponsoring my residency.

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