She’s never actually told me, but I know somehow that this is my mother’s favorite section of our curriculum. And maybe that’s why, in a sense, it’s mine as well.
In the classroom we’ve swapped out our human body puzzles for those of children in different forms of national dress, we’ve also added flag matching work and will be re-emphasizing our puzzle maps. But, in general, the theme lives in circle and in circle we’ve been traveling! We are learning songs from around the world and Metti has been emphasizing the “around the world” part. We talk about taking trips and meeting children, visiting their schools, giving them gifts, and then singing for them in their language.
As with most make believe: the children dig it.
We’ll be learning a number of songs but in the last few days the focus has been on an Ethiopian (I know, surprise surprise, right?!) song that makes me smile every time I hear it as it brings back memories of the Saturday Ethiopian Cultural classes my mother ran all through my childhood. Because it’s such a special song to me, my family, and has been a part of the Wedgwood Montessori repetoire for so many years, I thought I’d share it here. In the Amharic (one of Ethiopia’s main languages) as well as the english translation.
Gulbetey berta berta,gulbetey berta berta
Abelehalew ye shimbera keta
Ahunem adele wede mata, wede mata
The song, is a silly one. It says: my knees be strong, my knees be strong/ I’ll feed you garbonzo bean bread tonight/ later tonight later tonight.
Which is, in a way, something I love about children’s songs. They’re beloved not because of the lyrics or the sophistication of the often recycled melodies but just because of how they are used—so many, this one included, are games—or how they make a person feel. Sure, rock-a-bye is a terrifying yarn about an infant’s tumble from a tree top but when we listen to it, the cadence and tone relax us.
I’ve recorded a few of the songs and have been having trouble uploading them, so rather than delay this post any longer I decided to try for another post over the weekend. So, be on the lookout.
We learned a Russian song yesterday taught to us by Nicole Gillis—by way of her grandmother, Maria—and we’d love to incorporate your family’s songs into our graduation program. If you’re available to come to class and spend a half hour with us that would be amazing, but recorded or even written songs from your family’s cultural heritage would also be a gift.
Or, better yet, like the Gillises you could send a song ambassador to school! Nicole was really excited to have an emergency song circle called so she could teach us a song!
♫ ♫ Music Notes ♫ ♫
June is my month to play for the kids some of the music that I just couldn’t fit into the rest of the year! This month we’ll be listening to the Blue Danube Waltz, Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ and Mozart’s ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik’.
On the Horizon
June 15 Father’s Day Picnic (Sign up is posted)
June 21 Graduation & Multi-Cultural Potluck (6-8 pm)
June 22 Last Day of School
July 2nd Summer Session Begins