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  • Writer's pictureDavid Jack

Patriotic Songs America Needs in Our Schools

Patriotic Songs and Patriotic Words Should Really Mean something!

We are quickly approaching the 4th of July weekend which for me, is the official start to the summer. The first thing I would like to do is to thank all of the elementary schools that were kind enough to host my school assemblies in Pennsylvania, in New Jersey, in Connecticut, in New Hampshire, in Maine, in Massachusetts, in Maryland and last but not least, in New York! It has been such a hectic school year that I'm looking forward to unwinding like so many of the teachers and students for whom I performed. Since my SPIRIT OF AMERICA! school Assembly focuses on patriotism in our country, the 4th of July is a great time to blog about patriotism. During my show I try to teach about where patriotic songs come from and who the important players are in the patriotic music songbook of the United States. Besides doing that, during my show I address the important principle of what patriotism is as well as the meaning of freedom. I try to impart to the kids how important freedom is to our

country and our democracy, but unfortunately, freedom, is a fairly abstract word. In fact most of the kids at the grade levels K through 6th grade don't grasp the concept of what freedom really is. During my patriotic school assembly, I try to illustrate the concept of freedom in terms that that they can understand. I tell them that there are children around the world that are their age that would LOVE to go to school but are not

allowed. In fact, I tell them during my school assemblies that there are kids around the world that are not allowed to even leave their homes. I tell them that the men and women fighting in the military on their behalf around the world are fighting so they have the “freedom” that some other kids do not.

Trying to discuss the concept of "freedom" is almost like doing the jigsaw puzzle of understanding, especially for little kids. It's one of those ideas that, let's admit it, really, gets brittle around the edges; more fragile than a old moth-eaten book, like trying to grab onto a cloud. But man, something interesting happened when We were trapped mid-clap, raising the roof, belting to the patriotic songs that rally around the spirit of our nation ensemble, when, completely out of nowhere, a fourth-grader raises her hand and shares something that seemed absolutely brilliant: "Well, the kids can get out; they probably just don't want to." That was an A-HA moment slapped dead in the center of our music-filled gathering.

But rather than holding back the performance in explanation of those words, this time round, I found that to be an opportunity, golden at that, for a heart-to-heart. An excellent opportunity to lean in and say, "Hey, that is a pretty interesting thought. Why don't you discuss that further with your parents and even teachers?" And, guess what? Even the teachers nodded in approval. Examples like these recall very well just how important it is to get these things to the kids and help them give meaning to deep concepts like freedom, especially here in the good ole USA.

Around Independence Day, could one have a discussion with your kids at a better time? I mean, really, right about the Fourth of July, when Independence Day celebrations are in full swing, between yard fireworks and cookouts, and of course, with the music, with nothing less than a stars and stripes motif! Get the little ones at the center and talk about what really means freedom to us. Spice it up with fun kids' songs for the Fourth and call it a celebration of liberty, gratitude, and togetherness. That's a summer filled with conversations and moments not to be missed. And, believe me — I'm counting down days to see all of your bright, shining faces walk into your school again, for another great dose of music and memories!

Content updated since original publishing.

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