The school year has ended on an upswing at Pagosa Peak Open School, with drama camp, song writing, hikes, cooking, gardening and water play. The fourth- and fifth-graders worked together during the three weeks of the June session to write their own songs, which they composed and sang with Cora Rose, a professional musician and James Lewicki’s daughter. After hearing the students sing lyrics like, “Don’t let the past be your future,” and “You will see us change the world – without a doubt” I immediately became teary-eyed and couldn’t help but wonder two things:
How were they able to articulate such mature concepts?
How involved were they in writing this song?
Cora Rose insisted they did all the work. She gave them the skills they needed, and they ran with them. So I decided to ask the songwriters. As they lined up to go home, I accosted a group of them, accusingly raising my eyebrow and asking, “Did you guys really write those songs?” They all nodded. Then of course I referenced my first wondering, “But how did you come up with those lyrics?”
At that point they raised their eyebrows at me and a few put their hands on their hips. “We have life experiences too, you know,” one student answered. Another said, “We know what life feels like. Just because we’re kids doesn’t mean we don’t know.”
And again I realized who I was working with. Not kids. Not students. Humans – capable of so much more than most of us give them credit for. Check out the song linked below to experience the feeling of recognizing these undeniable (although a part of you will want to deny them) capabilities.