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  • I don't see much of a place in my classroom for the dances we learned in this era (Jump Jim Jones and Lucky 7).  They are a little basic for a high school classroom.  But I would love to discuss the the Sousa music and his influence on many of the "anthems" from this time period.  I usually have lots of band and orchestra students, and they will probably be very familiar with his name and music.  It would also be fun to have a little sing-along to many of the other American anthems from the time period (Home on the Range, America the Beautiful, Oh My Darling Clementine, Oh Susanna, etc) and see how many of them are already familiar to my students.  Just for my own personal curiosity, I wonder if this up-and-coming generation has had exposure to these songs that I remember singing and listening to in my childhood.  I definitely plan on playing some ragtime in my classroom just as background music when we are working on assignments.

  • I like the idea of celebrating without modern trappings (electronic)--making music and dancing as a group and community. The play party could be used for school celebrations, rewards etc.---wonderful!

    And the great variety of music and abundance of material is great, too. This will help to keep students engaged in the learning process--but one must be careful not to overload them

    I have used "Jump Jim Joe" in the music classroom with grades K-3 as a icebreaker and general joy giving

    Activity. Some students, however, need time to adjust to new activities so I accommodate them by explaining they don't have to have a partner to participate. Most kids who don't want to participate initially, will warm up to the activity with encouragement and as they see the other kids having fun with it. Of course, teacher participation is very effective here. When I teach this I have the kids hold hands for the jump portion. When the end of song comes around I have them "freeze" momentarily on the word "go". This helps them to be ready for the transition to a new partner. Kids love it when the teacher adds a "freeze game" component such as having them "freeze like a statue" when they hear the signal. This helps them to have a longer attention span and to listen better---especially helpful for the boys.        


  • The music is more and more for the people to have fun themselves.  The song we learned for the playparties was simple but still a lot fun.  It is easy to imagine that the people in this era could not wait for playparties.  I learned about the event in college, and I thought it was for elementary general music classes, but now I know it is for anyone regardless of age groups.

  • I liked the group dances from the session.  They are fun, easy to learn, and have the advantage of being able to dance with many different partners.  (They are also easy on the hip.) Lucky 7 was my favorite from this session.   I really appreciate the tidbits/information that came along with the dances.  I was not aware that Stephen Foster is considered the Father of American music or that cowboy songs were written to match the pace of cattle.  And, I'll probably get a few jeers for this and forgive me but Gene Autry rings cacophony for me. 

  • Great songs and social dances! I have loved ragtime  ever since the movie "The Sting" popularized it. Jump Jim Joe was fun. I would use this as a listening exercise as well as a movement break. Lucky Seven had a fun pattern to dance to.  I might have students add a pattern or come up with their own dance with a similar pattern. I would use modern music for the cake walk and waltz. For the song Home on the Range, younger students could  listen and draw a picture of what  the song was describing.

  • This is the second response that I lost before posting.   To be quick and short.  I do not really think that I could use either dance.  Both are simple but they don't seem appealing to middle schoolers who shun anything elementary or anything hand touching.  Jump Jim Joe  might be used as a greeting dance like the native american dance learned yesterday.  Lucky Seven might be modified to use high-fives during the the Grand right and left.

  • I am planning to teach both these dances to my students, not just because they are fun hooks to dancing, but because they are so close to what is going on today in rural Alaska with the line dances and two steps that are so popular. It was very common in this dance style for all ages to be involved and to be dancing for the fun of it, rather than for courtship, very much like rural Alaska.

  • I like the group dances much better than the partner dances.  I'm a shy person, and I empathize with my students who might not enjoy being awkward in front of their peers.  Jump Jim Joe is an easy dance that can help students get used to partner dancing because you don't have to stay too involved for a long time.  I also like the play party idea.  I think it would be a fun way to bring families together like we have done before with Math/Science Nights...

  • I will be using dance and music as part of my Alaska studies for 3rd grade. Today, fiddle dances are still very common, and popular in the village. There is such a natural tie-in with the western songs, which is where some of actually came from as fiddle dances trace back to the gold miners and the whalers. There is an obvious correlation between the rural, sparsely populated west and rural Alaska, with people gathering from different villages and often traveling great distances to get together with friends and family. My village students will be right at home with these dances.

  • I loved learning Jump Jim Joe, as I have always heard of it and never knew how to do it. My K and 1st graders will absolutely LOVE doing this dance. I also really liked Lucky 7 to introduce Grand Right and Left. It is a much easier dance to do and only have the GR&L to learn. Then after they are strong with that, we can do harder dances that include the GR&L. 

    I am also interested in teaching the Cakewalk prior to my Ragtime unit, and let the students see how social norms change and continue throughout eras and different cultures.

    As I said in class, cowboy songs are in 3/4 time: basically quarter note, quarter note, 2 eighth notes fit the rhythm of a horse short-loping, or galloping. So it is another way to integrate note reading and counting the time for a song. I always go over the vocabulary, explain any themes or concepts referred to in a song, pronunciation, and the history of the song (as well as the dynamics and music notations) before the class sing it, and if, for some reason, I leave out part of that, a student will always ask me to explain something I forgot to do. I think this really helps the students to internalize and really "own" a song for themselves. Therefore, they enjoy singing it more and learn the song better.

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