Posts Tagged ‘Raymond Elementary School’

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Patti’s COVID Teaching Story

May 20, 2020

Music teacher

Thirty eight year veteran music teacher Patricia Gordan teaches in two schools in RSU#14; Raymond Elementary and Windham Primary. Patti is a Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader. Almost a month ago now Patti shared that this has been the most difficult time in her teaching career. In this blog post Patti shares some of the work she has been doing with her students during this time – ‘schooling away from school’. Thank you Patti for sharing your story!

She read Janie Snider’s story from April 27 and when Janie said, “I am their resource!” Patti yelled, “YES!” Her story really resonated with Patti and perhaps that will be the same for others when you read what Patti’s story and what she misses most.

I want to hold hands and play a circle game with my Kindergarteners. I want to teach a folk dance to my 3rd graders. I want to sit next to a 4th grader and actually help her cover the finger holes correctly on her recorder so that she can produce a pleasant sound. I want to be the audience in front of twenty students on Orff instruments and thrill to their beautiful music, and see their faces light up when I enthusiastically compliment them. And I miss, miss, desperately MISS the angelic voices of my 3rd/4th grade chorus. I hope I can do the virtual choir with them on their favorite song that we’d been working on, “Send Down The Rain.”

Patti had just tried to play all four of the students’ “instrument parts” by herself.

IN PATTI’S WORDS

My chorus at Raymond Elementary is made up of 3rd and 4th graders and a few invited 2nd graders. “Send Down The Rain” is one of five songs we began practicing in January for a May concert which will not happen now. This song was their favorite and they sang it with such feeling, even at the beginning of March when it was not yet polished. 

I always put lyric sheets and practice tracks on the Raymond Elementary music website for them so they can practice at home and that was already done when we left. What I’m looking into is to have them perform that one song as a virtual choir.

A 4th grader emailed me this morning after she’d sent me videos, two different times, of herself playing recorder and I’d sent her back some tips. She said she was trying her hardest but that she was “bad at recorder.” (We play recorder third trimester and had had ONE recorder lesson before we were sent home.) It broke my heart because I wasn’t there to help her and it’s very difficult to teach a nine year old how to play the recorder by email, even though they can watch the recorder instruction videos on the website. Of course I told her she was not bad at recorder and that I admired her tremendously for her perseverance.

The lyrics to “Send Down The Rain, which help Patti and her students! 

Send Down The Rain

I live in the desert, only trouble comes my way as I try to make a living off the land. All the trees have withered, and the birds have flown away,
And my shattered dreams have gone with the shifting sand.

(Arias) Send down the rain.
(Cantos) To wash the dusty sky.

(Arias) Send down the rain.
(Cantos) To water the thirsty land.

(Arias) Send down the rain.
(All) To soothe my burning soul (Cantos-again) (Arias-my burning soul again) Send down the rain.

Lord I’ve had it with trouble, disappointment, broken dreams, And I long to see the lightnin’ flashin’ ‘round.
You know I’m a believer, and you know I’m prayin’ hard
To hear the rollin’ thunder’s mighty sound.

(Arias) Send down the rain.
(Cantos) To wash the dusty sky.

(Arias) Send down the rain.
(Cantos) To water the thirsty land.

(Arias) Send down the rain.
(All) To soothe my burning soul (Cantos-again) (Arias-my burning soul again) Send down the rain.

(Arias) Send down the rain.
(Cantos) Oh, Lord, I see the lightnin’,

(Arias) Send down the rain.
(Cantos) Oh, Lord, I hear the thunder.

(Arias) Send down the rain. (All) hoooo.

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