I want my students to experience patriotic music in the music room. So, I teach patriotic music to connect feelings with history and being an American.
HOW TO TEACH PATRIOTIC MUSIC IDEA #1
When I first started teaching I was so excited to teach patriotic songs. Why? I’m very patriotic. I have cousins, dad, grandfather, great, great grandfathers who have served in the Civil War, WWI, and Desert storm.
I like teaching patriotic songs to my students because I feel like it gives them a chance to experience pride in their country, respect for the flag and gratitude to those who have given their lives for our freedom.
There’s really no other songs that evoke the same emotions.
So I came up with some ideas and resources to show how to teach patriotic music to children.
SONGS AND ACTIVITIES
“THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER”
I teach everyone the National Anthem. I focus on different skills as they grow through the grades beginning with the end of the song “…oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave-o’re the land of the free and the home of the brave.” It’s a good rhyming line to begin with and they can really put their hearts into it!
Each year I help the students build on their singing skills and learn more of the words.
Step by step all of the students learn the song by 2nd grade.
WHY AND HOW
When all students stand with their hands on their hearts and sing it-the adults are brought to tears.
It’s a very powerful moment for my students-and for me. I feel like it’s very important for my students to show respect as they sing. I ask them to “sing from their heart”, hands at their sides (unless doing actions) heart forward, and nice open sounds.
“Sing it like you Mean it” is a common phrase I use to try to get them to connect the words to their feelings.
To keep them engaged, I also use videos and pictures to help them relate to the feeling of being an American.
I usually teach these songs at the beginning of the year. It’s also a great way to talk about respect in the classroom. And I use a variety of songs for different grades.
The following are some teaching videos you can use in your classroom.
“America the Beautiful” Sign Language
“This Land is Your Land” with Hand Actions
“The Star Spangled Banner”
By the way, I’ve composed and created many patriotic songs and activities you can use during the school year.
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For me it’s important for my students to have a wide range of emotional experiences with the music in our classroom.
Teaching patriotic music is such a great opportunity for students to feel good about being an American and being part of something larger than themselves.
I hope you got some patriotic music teaching tips!
For more ideas, check out this blog post I wrote about the patriotic songs I teach for a Veteran’s Day program.