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Teach the National Anthem

How to Teach Our National Anthem – “The Star Spangled Banner”

“The Star Spangled Banner” is our National Anthem.  It is so important that our children grow up learning this song and know the history of why it is written.  I want you to feel confident teaching not only the song, but the story behind The National Anthem to your children, whether they are your own or your class.  So, in this blog post, I want to show you how to teach our National Anthem.

 

 

Who wrote “The Star Spangled Banner”

Francis Scott Key, an American poet, author, and lawyer, wrote “The Star Spangled Banner.”  Key witnessed Baltimore, Maryland being bombed by the British in 1814, during the war of 1812, and wrote a poem titled “The Defense of Fort McHenry.”  He was aboard a ship, and as morning came, he could distinctly see our American flag waving proudly in the sky through all of the smoke.  The poem was eventually set to music, and it became the song we all know today.

 

Francis Scott Key

 

Why is “The Star Spangled Banner” our National anthem

In 1931, America adopted “The Star Spangled Banner” as our National anthem.  After the war of 1812, it started being sung everywhere, kind of like a tune you hear on the radio today that becomes well known.  During the Civil war, Union troops began singing the tune more and more and it gained in popularity.  In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an executive order that “The Star Spangled Banner” will be sung as our national anthem for all military ceremonies.  In 1931, after finally passing in Congress, it officially became America’s official National anthem.

 

National Anthem

 

What’s the Deal with Standing and Putting my Hand Over my Heart

With all the disagreement in our country about everything from religion, to politics, to parenting, to sexuality, agreeing on something does not come easy.  When we stand for our National anthem, it is a time for us all to stand in unity, to pause and reflect about how great our country is, and to all join together with pride as Americans.  Standing and putting our hands over our hearts are signs of respect for our flag, for the many courageous soldiers who fought and died for our freedom, and for our country.  You may not agree with every decision being made by our government, but we are all still “One Nation under God” and when you choose to not stand, you are disrespecting so many who risked or gave up their lives for you.

The Rocket’s Red Glare: Celebrating the History of The Star Spangled Banner (Book and CD) is a great book and CD to help you teach “The Star Spangled Banner”.

 

How do I Teach My Kids About Respect for our Country

You are the main role model in your child’s life.  If you hear the National anthem being sung at a sporting event, be the first to stand up and put your hand over your heart.  Teach your boys to take off their hats.  Discuss with them the many soldiers who fought for our freedom, especially someone who they are related to who they can form a connection with.  Discuss with your child how we are the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”  If you have the news on and your child sees the destructive protests going on, teach them how to peacefully voice their opinions.  When your child hears someone talk about someone in leadership in a disrespectful way, teach them how to disagree respectfully.  Teach your child not to live in fear, but to live in love.  Raise them to be good citizens and to respect our great country.

 

 

 

 

What do you think makes our country so great?  What makes you proud to be an American?

If you are a parent, student, or teacher who wants to learn more about music, connect with other musicians, or wants to post their latest videos of what they’ve been working on, I would love for you to join my Facebook group Music Education Connection. Collaborate, learn from each other, and grow new friendships. This is a place to receive encouragement, positive feedback, and to ask questions.

 

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Teach the National Anthem

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Jessica Peresta

Music teacher and music education blogger who helps parents and teachers by providing online music education lessons for kids.

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