The story of their own area is being told through a collaboration as students and songwriters team up to tell stories of history.
At Sandy Spring Friends school, fourth graders are learning about local history through a program called “In my Backyard, Geographies of Slavery and Freedom”. Students are encouraged to learn and share information about slavery and the Underground Railroad and are paired with schools from other areas so they can find out more.
“It’s a really cool history project that engages the kids,” said fourth-grade teacher Linda Garrettson. “This is the second year that we have participated.”
A professional songwriting duo worked with the class. For about five days, songwriters Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino known as Magpie wrote a song about how abolitionists Johyn Brown and Harriet Tubman were connected.
Magpie is familiar with local history, due to their work with environmental and historical folk ballads.
The students wrote a song with the duo, “Dear General Tubman, I Did no Wrong but Right,” about an inagined letter that Brown could have written to Tubman from his jail cell.
“It was so cool recording ‘General Tubman’ with Magpie,” said student Luca Nascone. “It was exciting thinking up rhymes as a group and creating a song.”