Spring Garden Elementary marks Arbor Day today

NEIGHBORS

April 05, 1995|By PAT BRODOWSKI

Arbor Day is being celebrated today at Spring Garden Elementary School.

Students will assemble at 9 a.m. to hear guest speaker Walter S. Orlinsky of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The town of Hampstead will plant a Kings Elm, which has been selected as the Hampstead town tree. Parents and friends are invited to the activity.

Spring Garden Elementary is at 900 Boxwood Drive. To reach the school from Hanover Pike, turn left to Northwoods Trail at a McDonald's restaurant and turn right at the stop sign to Boxwood.

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More than 100 parents visited music, choral and instrumental classes at Spring Garden Elementary last week to celebrate Music in Our Schools Month.

They were invited into the classrooms of Idalea Rubin, Mary Smaligo and Karen Rogers, where children explore rhythm, sound, the history of music and musicians, terminology, musical styles, playing musical instruments and more. The children learn in a style that absorbs them by direct experience.

This music class has no textbooks. The class follows rhythms by jumping, clapping, whistling and singing. The children learn to "speak" tones with the international hand signals of the Kodaly method. They learn about the greatest composers by seeing classroom displays and photographs, listening to stories about the composers' lives and why they wrote what they did. And, so prepared, the children listen to classical symphonies -- and love it.

Parents in one group of visitors to Mrs. Rubin's class could see how one sequence of tones, familiar to the students, were again sung in a folk tune and repeated in a classical symphony. Listening to that symphony, composed by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), will be forever memorable.

"Count Esterhazy loved music so much he had his own composers, singers and orchestra," Ms. Rubin, a choral music teacher, explained to the second-grade class. "He would entertain a lot of people and would give them a big meal of soup, cider, bread, deer meat called venison, fancy birds called pheasant, and plum pudding.

"Afterward, they might listen to soft music. And what happened? They fell asleep.

dTC "Franz Joseph Haydn composed the Surprise Symphony for Count Esterhazy. Do you know what that surprise was?" asked Mrs. Rubin.

She played a sample of the symphony, explaining how the soft tones in this piece were the same as those of the simple folk tune they had just sung.

Then came a sudden crash -- the surprise -- in the symphony, and every child and adult jumped.

"Haydn decided he was going to scare the bejoonies out of them," said Mrs. Rubin, above the laughter.

"Now we can pretend we are in the castle of Count Esterhazy," she said. "We sit so no one sees we're falling asleep."

Children turned to rubber and fell over during the soft beginning phrases. With the next loud crash by the musicians, everyone became upright and awake.

"Next week, we'll do the Farewell Symphony," said Mrs. Rubin. "In that one, he played a really good joke."

Bluebirds will find a home at Spring Garden Elementary, thanks to Cub Scout Pack 790. On Saturday, the Cubs and parents, led by Den Mother Cheryl Wahl, erected a dozen bluebird houses that were crafted by Scouts in the pack.

Pack 790 is sponsored by Spring Garden Elementary. As a thank you to the supportive staff and for use of the school, the Scouts annually work at the school grounds in a conservation-related project.

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Springtime crafts will abound on Saturday at the Hampstead Volunteer Fire Company, where the auxiliary is holding an arts and crafts show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The firehouse is at 1341 N. Main Street, Hampstead.

"There will be many new crafts," said organizer Treasa Markle. "And there's always good food."

Crafts will include Easter baskets, bunny dresses, rocking chairs, jewelry, spring wreaths, shadow boxes, muslin dolls, and crocheted and cross-stitched items.

Crafts people can still enter this show by contacting organizers right away. Tables cost $20.

Information: Wanda Sparks, 239-2406.

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