Dan LeJeune, wonderful solfege and sight-singing professor at the University of St. Thomas, mentioned in class last summer 2011 the story of the butterfly.  The level II Kodaly students listened with anxiety, as there were tests, master-copies, sight-singing quizzes and homework overflowing our lives!

They were at a butterfly garden, watching the various stages of butterflies transforming from cocoon to the beauty of a winged monarch.  As they watched the process, they noticed how difficult it was for the emerging butterfly to fight its way out of the cocoon that once was a safe home.  His son, wanting to help, asked the guide and asked to help the larva, to make a slit in the cocoon so that it could get out.  The guide responded wisely, “If they don’t learn to fight out of the cocoon, they will never develop the muscles needed in their wings to fly.  By helping them, you will only hurt them.”

This year has been transformative for me as well.  Moving from charter to public, Minneapolis to Chaska, 500 to over 700 kids, 1 concert to 5 concerts a year… my wings are strengthening quickly!  I am LOVING getting to know the students and the community at Chaska.  Their love of the arts and music is so apparent in my beautiful classroom!  The kids bounce to music, so excited to sing the next folk song or round, play a new game or learn a new dance!  It is such a blessing to be teaching music, day in and day out, in a community such as Chaska!

What we’ve done so far:

4th grade culture night: we danced several dances from around the world, “T Smedje” being a huge hit!  The families were so very appreciative!

Choir concert: where we sang at the local St. Hubert’s academy during the day, and gave our concert that evening.  We touched on many canons and rounds, sang “Gypsy Rover” and our favorite, “En La Feria de San Juan”!

3rd grade concert: “My Many Colored Days”, where each color was attached to a folk song, dance, recorder song, or game.  The parents packed the gym with families and camcorders, and the kids (all 144 of them!)  were so enthusiastic!

Lindquist: the music staff from Chaska/Chanhassan performed for a local fund, singing absolutely beautiful songs and performing …. many types of music. 🙂

5th grade concert: where the 5th graders composed all material, added dances, and will center it around “The Giving Tree” to influence our school-wide theme of leaving a better green footprint.

Swing Dance Club: which will begin after spring break.  By popular demand, I will be teaching the basics of East Coast Swing dancing, Charleston and the Shim Sham to eager students.  We’ll culminate with a swing dance, where we invite family members to dance with the students!  (Crossing my fingers for a live band, how fun would that be??)

We keep busy over here!  The concerts will be posted soon at cre <dot> district 112 <dot> org, under “Teacher Websites: Specialists: Mrs. Camozzi”.  Enjoy!