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Fourth Graders Compose Moving Up Song

Alice Leon works with fourth graders to create their own moving up song.With guidance from musician and teaching artist Alice Leon, fourth grade classes took just one period to write an entire song, which they will perform during their moving-up ceremony next month.
Working with each of the six fourth grade classes on a theme of Stronger Together, Leon guided students through the song-writing process and gave them the tools to be songwriters, and express their feelings. Apparently, they took to it like naturals.
Each class wrote one section of the song, exhibiting, according to Leon, insight and maturity. “The stuff these kids came up with, in my opinion, was more mature than I would normally expect from fourth graders,” she said.
“It was a real team-bonding program, addressing to some extent what they’ve been through in the last couple of years,” Leon said. “I think they are really coming out stronger and able to express that. They are an amazing group.”
She noted the support the students gave each other, tag-teaming with suggestions. “In creating the song, they were demonstrating what it means to be stronger together. They actually demonstrated it in real time.”
Gabriel A. says she likes composing songs. “Ms. Leon was really encouraging and there is no wrong answer to song writing."
Teacher Linda Tam was very impressed with the experience, which was funded by the PTSA, and said her students thoroughly enjoyed it.
“I thought it was really great. The students loved Alice; she really helped them feel comfortable, encouraging them to work together. They took risks and bounced ideas off each other,” she said. 
Max J. liked that approach. “I started adding ideas when I heard everyone else’s ideas,” he said.
And it helped bring out the musical side of students like Charlie H., who said he “was really happy,” because he was able to contribute even though he doesn’t play an instrument.
The fourth grade will gather together on Tuesday to hear all sections put to music. Below is a sneak peak of one of the verses:
Facing any challenge that comes our way,
Rally around each other every day.
Lift each other’s spirits,
Talk out problems with our friends,
Listen to each other,
Resilient to the end.
May 9, 2022