Kimsoleskiward's Blog weblog

My Songs are Out There May 8, 2010

Just recently, I sent 6 of my songs to a Music Education website.  The songs were accepted and are now available for download.  You can also purchase the sheet music for the following songs.

Sing a Song of Canada is a musical journey across Canada and also talks about Canadian history.

First Among Equals is a song that lists the names all 22 of Canada’s prime ministers in melody.

Ballad of Sir John A. is a musical biography of Canada’s first prime minister.

Can Can Canada names all the provinces, territories and their capital cities to the tune of the Can Can.

The Puffin Party tells the seasonal life cycle of Newfoundland’s provincial bird.

My Dewlap is the life cycle of the moose.  By  the way, do you know what a dewlap is?  Check out my website for the answer.

If you are looking for songs that are fun for learning, check these out!!  You can find them at Songs for Teaching.

The songbook is being distributed by Leslie Music Supply.


Music and Sports February 22, 2010

Filed under: music education,songs about Canada,songs that teach,Uncategorized — kimsoleskiward @ 7:02 pm

Every two years, the Olympics gives music teachers a wonderful opportunity to combine music with sports.  Often, I will use a sports analogy when teaching music.  In both sports and music, the player must warm up, exercise and practice. And, during Olympic years, I will spend time teaching traditional music from the host country.  This year, the Vancouver Olympics gives me the special opportunity of sharing songs from my home country and my songbook “Sing a Song of Canada.”

The opening ceremonies are a perfect example of how music is extremely important at a sporting event.  The music allows the home country to display their culture.  The songs raise excitement and anticipation for the games.  The Vancouver show contained many references to Canadian culture that are included in “Sing a Song of Canada”:  the importance of the First Nations drum, Emily Carr paintings, a quote from Pauline Johnson, the diversity of the landscape and people of Canada, to name a few.

For my lesson plans in January and February, students have been learning both traditional Canadian folk songs and songs from  “Sing a Song of Canada”.  For the younger elementary students, we have been focussing on the Olympic mascots and the First Nations Legends on which they are based.   We learned “Sasquatch” by Charlotte Diamond, an original song  called “The Thunderbird” and the traditional Canadian folk song, “Land of the Silver Birch.” The older students have learned several songs from my songbook with recorder accompaniments.  These include the title song from the book as well as “Train Dogs”, “Winter Is” and “Can Can Canada.”

Enjoy the rest of the Olympics and keep singing those Canadian songs!!!


Songs about Canada December 30, 2009

Matilda the moose

Moose in Algonquin Park, June 2009

cover image
Sing a Song of Canada by Kim Soleski Ward

As I have stated in earlier posts, I am an elementary music teacher.  Over the past 20 years of teaching, I have written many songs for children.  I believe that music is an amazing teaching tool, and, most of my songs are related to non-musical curriculum areas.  Sing a Song of Canada is one of my songbooks that is available for sale through Leslie Music Supply.  In this songbook, there are 22 original compositions that teach about the history and geography of Canada.  For example, “First Among Equals” teaches the names of all 22 Prime Ministers.  “Can Can Canada” teaches the provinces and territories and their capital cities.  There are songs about Canadian icons such as the moose, the ookpik, the beaver, butter tarts, and, the Aurora Borealis.  Also included are 5 traditional Canadian folk songs and also the national anthem.

I was born and raised in Canada and I love to share the wonders of Canada with my students.  The songs are a fun way to introduce the country and also teach the students musical skills while they learn about Canada.   An Ookpik is a little stuffed creature that was created as a way of promoting trade to Canada.  A butter tart is a uniquely Canadian dessert.  Kind of like a miniature pecan pie but not really.  My song about the moose is called “My Dewlap.”  The dewlap is the flap of skin that hangs down from the moose’s chin.  If you have never seen a moose in the wild, I highly recommend driving Highway 60 in Ontario through Algonquin Park.  I have seen a moose along that highway absolutely everytime I have driven there.  And, don’t just drive through, Algonquin Park has beautiful hiking trails with amazing scenery.   I was born in Bracebridge, Ontario which is a little town very close to Algonquin Park. 

The book contains both musical and non-musical activities for the students to do.  There are writing responses, drawing responses, crossword puzzles, mazes, etc.  So, if you are a music teacher, a classroom teacher, a parent or, someone interested in Canada, please check out my book, “Sing a Song of Canada.”