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MUSIC ON THE PLAYGROUND
For Playground Basketball
of the consciousness of an already sport-loving American public is the fact that they lend themselves so admirably to home use. Few of us are fortunate enough to have space in our backyards for a football gridiron, a baseball diamond, a swimming pool or a tennis court. But who cannot find space for a shuffleboard court? Even a strip of concrete driveway will serve nicely. And a Badminton court or deck tennis court may be tucked in between the garage and the rows of spinach. Even if you are a city dweller the roof of your apartment building offers opportunities not to be overlooked. As for indoor sports, in these days of rejuvenated basements (now that the old-time furnace has been relegated to the junk heap), space which has previously been occupied by unsightly piles of coal is now dedicated to King Sport. What is more, the whole family can join in the fun. At such sports as shuffleboard, horseshoes and table tennis, Junior may prove to be too much for his dad, much to the chagrin of the latter—a chagrin tempered, however, by the immense satisfaction at having found something that father and son can play together.
A nation at play is an end to be desired, and whole families at play in their own backyards are even more desirable. So here's to the backyard sports-once the sport of kings and now within the grasp of even the humblest household! Long may they continue to grow and flourish, for "the hours that make us happy make us wise."
Music on the Playground
(Continued from page 66) They should as individuals sometimes make some of the music by singing it or playing it, however simple and crude their efforts may be.
The acting out of stories brings us to the acting out of ballads in other songs while they are being sung by the actors, or by substitute singers for them, or by the whole audience. In this also we are to depend on the children's or older folks' own imaginations and actions as much as their interest will permit us to do. Dramatized Ballads with Musical Accompaniment, by Janet Tobbitt and Alice White (E. P. Dutton & Co.), just off the press, contains a wealth of material. In addition, the Old Woman and the Peddler, I Had
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MUSIC ON THE PLAYGROUND
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New York. The ocarina or "sweet potato" deserves but perhaps does not need similar help. A group of these homely but nice-sounding instruments, in different sizes, can make very pleasant part-music.
Knowing of the large number of school bands, one wishes that during the summer there could be one or more bands of boys and girls in every city that would be to the playgrounds what adult bands are to the parks in musically well-equipped cities. They would also promote pride and loyalty toward the playgrounds, as they do toward the schools of which they are members. In such a project, as in singing and many others, a capable junior leader may be found among the high school or even less advanced pupils. The interest and cooperation of the school director of music must of course be won for it.
For the sake of completeness we should mention operettas, pleading for careful choice to find the best ones, and suggesting that the National Recreation Association's bulletins on Operettas for Children be consulted, together with some recent works published by G. Schirmer, New York. These have respectively to do with the lad Shakespeare, the young John Sebastian Bach, and with Joan of Arc, all of them for children or young people, and all musically delightful and everlasting.
The better possibilities for community nights should also have at least one article to themselves. But let us return for a moment to the singing with which we started this article, and remind the reader that one of the most fruitful modes of musical leadership on a playground is the spontaneous humming and singing, often done without intention, by any playground worker as he or she goes about the daily chores and enjoys also the intermissions. Even the dour old Carlyle said "Blessed is the man who sings at his work." Certainly there is no work in which it is more blessed to sing than in that of a playground leader. Only let us remember with Carlyle's friend, Emerson, that “Art is the record of good days,” and give children as much of a taste as we can of what is meant by "good days.” The playground leader's main job with respect to music is to provide a total environment, himself included, that will arouse the urge for musical expression and nourish it on the best suitable music he can find and learn and get his associates to find and learn. The world is full of "swell" songs, as the boys would call them, that every leader should know.
other songs suited to children's acting are to be found in many a children's song book. High Germany, the Wraggle Taggle Gypsies and My Man John, for older boys and girls and adults, are in the Cecil Sharp collection of English Folk Songs, and The Dumb Wife and The Jolly Broom Man are in Volume II of the Oxford Song Book. O Soldier, Soldier in the Brown Twice 55 Community Songs is also a good one to act out. Any of these is very well suited to be given in connection with a story-telling session or festival.
A number of articles the length of this one should be written about playground festivals.
To think of instrumental musical activities suited to playgrounds is to open another large field beyond our present space. By the time this article appears, a bulletin on rhythm bands will have been issued by the National Recreation Association to companion its earlier publication on The Making and Playing of Shepherds' Pipes. This pipe-making and playing is an ideal project for a playground where it is respected as a craft deserving much care and time. Booklets on how to play or teach the harmonica are given free by M. Hohner and Company, 351 Fourth Avenue,
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(Continued from page 72) carelessness. And yet, that is what the play street tends to do.
The other argument for the continuation of the play street is that the child has a play area at his own doorstep and can benefit from parental supervision. This is a fallacy from the outset. Generally the father is away at work. The mother is busy in the rear of the house. In the congested section it is very rare that the parent actually supervises the play of the child. The parent is much too busy to bother. Hence the plan for parental supervision appears to be a vain hope, despite the attempt to interest adults in "play street" clubs and the like. And then, too, once adults take over the play street activities, or begin to share them with the children, it is a service no longer dedicated to the children of the city. Once again, the play street fails.
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(Continued from page 74) (1) by its part in reducing the hours of labor, (2) by expanding the area of Federal property available for leisure time uses, and (3) by experimenting in bringing leisure time leadership to areas that never had it. He related leisure time activity to a stirring, he sensed, in the fields of culture and the arts, to a start in the building of a society where beauty would be near the top. He said camping had four possible ends, (1) as a recreation agency, close to nature, (2) as an educative agency through recreation, (3) as a money making agency and (4) as an institution-building agency. He questioned the group on their attitude
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arts of participation, in making the individual more capable of discrimination and in increasing the art of contemplation. He exalted the camp as an essential ally in the new movement of culture and art.
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Enjoying Nature - What Does It Mean?
(Continued from page 78) the game. With those tales as a first step, every child was glad to listen. It was time later to go more into the factual field of nature study. By the time the boys were actually identifying mushrooms, bark and bird calls, they failed to realize they had even drifted away from the adventure story and the legend. Their interest was just naturally aroused, and it took very little urging on my part to encourage them to do their own exploring
Perhaps your students detest reading or hearing some one read. And it is true, incidentally, that a poor reader will ruin a good story. A night spent far removed from other humans will be an exciting substitute. Thus it was that we turned to camping at Hidden Lake, a body of water in a frog-infested swampland. There we would listen to stories as we sat or squatted about a campfire with marshmallows roasting over the coals. After that the boys could sleep, poke around in the underbrush, or sit quietly, listening for animal sounds.
It is well to take care not to confuse or disconcert the young nature student by breaking him in with something beyond his comprehension. Young people, as well as adults, must see value and benefit in a task before they will perform it. It is the responsibility of the successful nature counselor to transform what might be a task into a pleasure, a type of game.
Visiting day at summer camp is always an interesting time for it is then that the adults go to school. I take a pilot snake or a blue racer from its cage and they come closer. Ordinarily they would run, but now their fascination surpasses their fear. "How does it feel?" "Is it wet?" "Does it hurt much when it bites ?" These are the questions asked. Perhaps before we're through with our impromptu talk someone will venture to touch the snake or even to hold it.
Frog hunting is always a drawing card. On such a hunt the class is divided into groups, each one just large enough to be accommodated in one boat. Boys always get a lot of fun from cruising along a weedy shore and poking under logs and
(Continued on page 110)
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movement he saw as well on its way and necessary and desirable. Some other questions he raised were: Can camping be made available to all ? How can it be adapted to all age groups? (He enlarged on the need of camping for the adult.) Can it combine freedom and discipline? Can it use the principles of progressive education? Where will it get its leaders? He spoke of the need of making camp leadership more than part-time work if it were to become professional.
Mr. Lindeman named the camp as an institutionalized social form whose basic problem is human relations and said its effect should be defined on family life, church life,'school life, and community life. He saw its possibilities in assisting the family to symmetrical growth, in teaching the