Walter Bitner

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Sumer Is Icumen In

the earliest known copy of Sumer is Icumin In; British Library Harley 978 folio 11v

the earliest known copy of Sumer Is Icumin In; British Library Harley 978 folio 11v

When I was an elementary and middle school music teacher (1991 – 2007), I structured a lot of my curriculum – especially the songs I chose to teach my students – around the seasons.  While it may seem like an obvious educational strategy, I think it is important to stress the value of this.  Children in our society are living in environments that are increasingly divorced from any sense of connection with the natural world.  Part of a music teacher’s mission is to give children not only a developed set of skills but also a generous survey (content) of our musical tradition, and the music literature – especially the song repertoire – includes a wide variety of examples of the use of music to evoke, celebrate, and otherwise honor many aspects of the natural world from which we come – and which we are still a part of, whether we recognize it or not.

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