Fern Hill Second-Graders Try Their Hand at Songwriting
Second-graders students perform with KJ
Second-grade students at Fern Hill Elementary School recently performed songs that they wrote with the help local musician KJ Reimensnyder-Wagner. KJ, as she is known to the students, has been visiting Fern Hill for the past four years and collaborates with them to create songs based on various topics tied to their curriculum.
KJ spent a week working with all four second-grade classes, coming up with the melody and lyrics for songs that tied in with their poetry unit, science, and social studies. Students also made instruments using materials from home designated for recycling. The visit ended with the students and KJ performing the songs for the rest of the student body.
KJ started coming to Fern Hill four years ago after second-grade teachers Shawn Dzielawa and Angela McCullough met her at the National Agriculture in the Classroom state and national conferences.
"It is a great partnership to have an artist in residence with us and a wonderful opportunity for them to work together to perform for everyone," said Dzielawa. "We began with an agriculture focus and then moved to allow the students to pick their topics for the songs."
Her annual week-long learning experience to Fern Hill continues to make an impact on students both in and out of the classroom.
KJ grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs and now resides near Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Her career as a singer-songwriter began at the age of 12 after she received a guitar from her parents. She has established herself as one of the true "positive leaders and motivational musicians" of the U.S. Folk Circuit and Motivational Speaking circuit today. Her incredible upbeat attitude and positive energy combine to make her one of the most sought after performers in the business today.
Besides entertaining and speaking throughout the United States, KJ has also toured extensively in the British Isles – especially her "second home" of Scotland, where she maintains a secondary base of operations.
Currently touring with her CD projects such as "Proud to be a Farmer," "Dreaming Inside Her Mind," "PonyTales," "Oliver's Quiet" (with Sweetwater Reunion Band), KJ also covers family concerts with such music CD projects as her "Simply Kids", "Agriculture Is A BIG Word (supported by the PA Dept. of Agriculture), and "Farms, Food & Fun!". Her newest adult CD is slated to be released in the near future.
For more insight on KJ Reimensnyder-Wagner, visit www.kjsmile.com.
*WCASD Communications intern, Gracie Cleveland contributed to this article.