Musical Journey in the Footsteps of Lewis & Clark (with Booklet and Teacher's Guide)

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Tiffany Torbeck
Connecting students with history can be difficult because it is hard to imagine what a particular time period was like. By combining history with music, students may be able to connect more effectively. The accompanying booklet does a good job of explaining that there is no record of the music that was played during the expedition, but that the songs were popular during the time and were likely played at some point. Some of the songs have a familiar tune, like Ding Dong Merrily on High and The Old Year Now and others are introduced with a reading from the journals of Lewis and Clark. The booklet does give an overview of the journey, which it treats fairly, showing the treatment of Native Americans met along the way without romanticizing the journey or leaders. The teacher's guide gives good unit plans; including an interesting version of the old game telephone to show students how difficult it must have been to work through several translators to communicate with Native American tribes. This set would work best in a middle school classroom, but would have uses in the upper elementary and perhaps in some high school units. Other listening suggestions are given, as well as websites, which were all functioning at the time of review. Reviewer: Tiffany Torbeck
School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up

These 30 songs, created by Anne and Ridley Enslow, use accounts of the Lewis and Clark expedition which often mention music, as its inspiration. The pieces reflect the different stages of the journey, and they are arranged in chronological order so that the first songs are the complex arrangements that Lewis and Clark would have heard before they set out, and then the pieces change to the tunes of the French boatmen, the songs of the Native Americans who they encountered (sung in French and Native languages), and the simple songs that the explorers might have sung at their campsites. There are instrumental and vocal selections as well as readings set to music. Some tunes, such as "Greensleeves," might be familiar to listeners, but most will be new. All are performed on period instruments as well as "informal" music makers such as spoons and hambones. This recording will help students understand the importance of music in the Lewis and Clark expedition. It is more related to specific expedition events than Lewis and Clark: Sounds of Discovery (Makoche Recording Co., 1998). A good choice for school use.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO

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