I had a tough time selecting music. Teaching in both charter and public schools (under one roof), it is sometimes difficult to make decisions. There can be controversy with regard to which lyrics are appropriate for all students. With respect to all religions and personal beliefs I finally made a decision.
I looked back to when I was a student in elementary school. I tried to remember what patriotic songs we learned, and my response to them. One of my favorites was "America." I remember thinking that some of the words were new to me. As I became more familiar with the meaning of the lyrics, I became more proud of America. So, as my students are singing "America," I hope they will feel a sense of pride in our country as well. These musical experiences can help students become more connected with the stories of history.
Our National Anthem is another patriotic song I remember learning. I only learned one verse and didn't become aware of the others until much later in life. The entire poem is full of historical details and with such descriptive text. I remember the phrase, "purple mountain majesties," and how I would imagine those purple mountains so vividly as we sang. I still love the color purple...
There are just some songs all students should learn at some point in their life. I do not believe that I am telling students how to feel, but rather giving them the experiences