My students live and go to school in a remote mountain area in Northern California. This community values music education. A few years ago, when the music teacher retired, the school district cut the position. A group of students attended a board meeting where they spoke and advocated for continuing their music program. This student led advocacy for a Music Program resulted in the school board reinstating a one-day a week music teacher to teach all the grades as well as performance groups. These kids really love and appreciate having music in their school!
By having ukuleles to play, the students will be able to foster their love of music while learning core curriculum. When we receive our ukuleles, I will begin collaborating with the music teacher on integrating music with history. My students are 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, and next year we will be studying California history, a period with a rich musical heritage.
The music teacher will teach us how to play the ukuleles, and we will practice and sing daily to improve our skills.
We will begin by learning songs of Old California and the Gold Rush, connecting them to the historical events, and by the end of the year, we will have taken a musical journey through the history of our state.
The following year, we will incorporate the 5th grade United State history with music and create an exciting musically based curriculum. And the year after that World and Ancient History.
As my experience with using ukuleles in the classroom grows, and as time goes on, I will develop an entire repertoire of songs to help teach not just history, but other core subjects.
With your support, we can have ukuleles to help engage the students' interest and to make learning more enjoyable. Thank you!
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