This October, The Myrna Loy and The East Helena Food and Culture Hub sent local musician, David Casey, to Radley Elementary School for a week-long songwriting residency. Students in Traci Mazanec’s 4th grade classes spent four days learning the basics of writing a verse and a chorus, and then created their own album of original songs about how they experience day-to-day life in East Helena. David started by teaching the groups a few of his songs, and then asking them to write new verses. Once the students had a sense of using rhyme and meter, the group voted on a theme for their own song, and got to work writing lyrics!
In addition to working with the 4th grade groups, David led workshops for all the 3rd and 5th grade students over the course of the week, working with a total of 409 students!
The full school performed a concert with David at the end of the week, inviting parents and community members to sing some of the songs that David taught them over the week as well as to hear their brand new, original songs! Over 480 people attended the final concert.
Listen to the Radley 4th Grade album below:
Photo credit: Jason O’Neil