Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Grand Canyon Suite at the Kinnelon Children's Library

I wish I were a kid so I could participate in the cool programs that the Kinnelon Children's Library organizes. The latest was about the Grand Canyon....

Galina Adair, head of the children's library, contributed the following:

In April the Kinnelon Children’s Library had a program called the Grand Canyon Suite – a MUSIC AND SCIENCE extravaganza!

The Grand Canyon Suite program was a way to introduce children to an American musical piece written in the late 1920s into the 1930s.

Ferde Grofe, the composer, expressed his personal memories of a visit to The Grand Canyon in Arizona. The Grand Canyon Suite is a symphonic poem (musical work based on a literary background).

Louise Solomon, Mine Cellikol and several artistic helpers transformed the art room into the Grand Canyon - this added greatly to the impact of the program. [Note the photos above where you see that the room has been transformed into a Grand Canyon wonderland.]

The children listened to the Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofé and were asked to discuss their responses to the music in the 5 separate movements:

+ Sunrise,
+ Painted Desert,
+ On the Trail,
+ Sunset,
+ Cloudburst.

Their reactions and insights were awesome!

The session with the older children included a little more information about geology than the younger children were given. Each session included a craft.

It was a very successful program and about 36 children participated!

Thank you, Galina, Louise, Mine and the other artistic helpers, for inspiring our children. I know Emma had a wonderful time identifying the Grand Canyon images that Grofe captured in his music and learning about Arizona!


In researching The Grand Canyon Suite for this post, I came across a site dedicated to The Grand Canyon Suite with lessons [note, some links are broken and you'll need to download some additional plugins]. It looks to be music focused; I did not have a chance to thoroughly check the site out.

I also found marvelous videos of three of the movements paired with video imagery of the Grand Canyon. Breathtakingly spectacular!

Subscribers, please click on this link for a YouTube video of Sunrise from The Grand Canyon Suite, created by Michael Lynch.

Subscribers, please click on this link for a YouTube video of Ferde's On The Trail from The Grand Canyon Suite.

Subscribers, please click on this link for the YouTube video of Grafe's Sunset.

If your children participated, what did they find most interesting?

And, whether they did or they didn't, what do you and they hear when you listen to the three YouTube videos above [or the Grand Canyon Suite CD]? I definitely hear clippity-clops of horses and donkeys in "On The Trail."

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