Editor's Note: What an inspiring story about the students from the Latham Centers! The persistence of these children and the inspiration by their teachers speaks so well of the good work being done at Latham. "Bravo" to everyone involved!
Students from all over the Cape came together for a music appreciation concert and competition last Wednesday. The music choice? Music from five historical periods: Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary. The outcome? Latham took 1st place in the “Grade 7 and up- 12 Selection” category featuring students of the Marconi classroom. Sponsored by the Cape Conservatory, the project featured the Cape Cod Symphony in a name-that-tune type of competition. “The students surprised me with how enthusiastic they were about the project,” said Sarah jane Mason, Latham School’s Instructor of Performing Arts & Wellness. “I would come into class to questions about who the composer was that day, announce a name like Mozart, and the whole class would cheer in excitement.” Latham took two teams with members of Marconi, Brewster Falls, Bass River, and Long Pond classes. Thirty-three teams total from thirteen schools attended this year’s concert at Cape Cod Church in East Falmouth where the orchestra played each selection live for the students.
The Music Memory nationally-recognized curriculum provides students an in-depth study of 12-16 selected compositions each year. Prominent composers of orchestral, vocal, choral, band, and keyboard pieces are featured including greats like Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, and a school favorite, Scott Joplin on ragtime piano. During the classroom lessons, students engage in a wide range of artistic activities including hand signs to learn the title, composer, and understand the structure of each piece. In addition, students learn history about the composer and the musical time period. As they become aware of the structure of each piece—its melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic patterns and the instrumentation or voices used—they are able to identify works and composers upon hearing only a few bars. Students develop listening skills, critical thinking, pattern recognition, emotional involvement, and creative expression skills. The year-long Music Memory curriculum culminates in the Name-That-Tune style competition featuring the Cape Symphony Orchestra playing each selection live.
For many Latham students, this was their first ever live symphony experience, but hopefully not their last. “The students asked immediately after the concert if we could do it again next year,” Sarah jane said. “They are already excited to know which new songs they will learn.” Latham would like to give a huge thank you to Christy King, Director of Education & Outreach with the Cape Conservatory, for helping make the Music Memory project a success for our students.