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Lanigan Elementary Learns History with Song

Performer and teaching artist Dave Ruch visited Lanigan Elementary recently and gave a musical and historical performance to Lanigan fourth graders.

The concert included ancient songs about our state’s history including the Iroquois Native Americans, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Erie Canal and more.

Performer and teaching artist Dave Ruch calls on a Lanigan Elementary student to answer a question regarding New York State’s history. The concert is used as an interactive learning tool to prepare students for social studies standardized testing.
Performer and teaching artist Dave Ruch calls on a Lanigan Elementary student to answer a question regarding New York State’s history. The concert is used as an interactive learning tool to prepare students for social studies standardized testing.

The program is an interactive learning tool to prepare students for future social studies standardized testing. Ruch brought along historic instruments including a dried-out gourd that would have been used by the Iroquois.

He called the apparatus “nature’s instrument” as it is the dried-out seeds within the gourd that provide the shaker noise.

Another early instrument Ruch displayed was called a Jew’s harp, which was one of the primary instruments in colonial times due to its small pocket size. Ruch taught the students how the instrument was played and performed a 400-year-old song that encompassed some humor between a farmer and his wife.

Ruch also used the Jew’s harp in an instrumental ballad while a few selected students accompanied in dance, symbolizing early colonial dress balls that were held for entertainment.

Much of the concert included dialog between the students and Ruch as he questioned the students about our history.

Fulton teachers must be doing a wonderful job as these students’ hands were raised throughout the program, naming the answers to almost every question.