Tuesday, October 24, 2023



                            Your legacy is every life you touch.

-      Maya Angelou


I am in that time of life where legacy is on my mind. And I like Maya Angelou’s view on it. Like all teachers, I’ve touched many lives, teaching a few hundred kids at my school each year for 45 years, teaching summer Orff training courses and Saturday workshops for almost all of that time, here, there and everywhere. And teaching via the Orff approach means literally touching all these people as we hold hands in circles, play clapping plays, dance folk dances, create movement choreographies. Then the emotional touch of the subject of music itself, the motions without sparking the e-motion within as we visit the whole spectrum of human feelings— from joy and jubilation to grief and sorrow. 


My true legacy is the songs we sang together still singing in people’s heads decades later and touched with the cellular-remembered feeling of being together in the music room when we first sang them. It’s the sense of communion and belonging we forged in our one-day or two week instant communities or 11-years together in the school music classroom. It’s the music performances and Holiday plays and school rituals and camping trips and guest artists. It’s the whole life we lived together so that when a child who left in 1984 came back to visit the school having not been in touch for almost 40 years, we instantly connect with each other. Then extra satisfaction to know that he’s the Vice-principal of a large public Middle School carrying on the beautiful practices of humanistic education.


So that’s the central trunk of legacy and I think I can rest easily knowing that indeed my work has touched many just as many other’s work has touched me. And the numbers don’t matter, but there is an extra satisfaction to know that it is a sizable group who then will go on, have gone on, to touch others in the same way. 

But then there are the tangible, material things we leave behind that reach out to others through different mediums. For me, some fifty articles in various magazines, my ten books, my twelve years of blog posts, the recent film about my last year at school, the Pentatonics Jazz Band CD, my School Songbook on Google Drive and so on. 


And then there are the  recordings discussed in the last two Blog posts. I’m newly inspired to consider how to get them out there more in the public, particularly to music teachers looking for new material. I have a master list of some of the 800 plus recordings on my computer, but weirdly it won’t let me open them. While I’m working on that, here’s the promised summary of cassette tape and CD titles and then some photographic evidence, minus two CD’s I can’t seem to find in my archives (Blue Skies and Fascinatin’ Rhythm). Except for the first two cassette tapes, all titles came from one of the songs we recorded and those 24 songs alone are enough to make a music teacher curious about folding them into her or his repertoire. Check them out!


14 CASSETTE TAPES FROM 1983-1999 (in order)


Music from Five ContinentsPlay, Sing and DanceSally Go Round the Sun,Mango WalkListen HereScience Fair BluesNow’s the TimeEverybody Loves Saturday NightJumpin’ with Symphony SidWell You Needn’t,  Sing, Sing, SingBeans and Cornbread,  Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?Jumpin’ at the Woodside


12 CD’s (many double CD’s) from 2000-2012

Oye Como Va,Bag’s Groove,Take Five,I Got RhythmSoul SauceJitterbug Waltz,Summer Samba,  Jive at Five,Blue Skies,  Fascinatin’ Rhythm, CaravanYesterdays


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.