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"See, the marsh mud’s like a chocolate soup you can smell for miles around"
Roger Day’s Marsh Madness
Educating Children through Song
Since 2009, Georgia Sea Grant and the Savannah Music Festival have partnered to bring children’s musician Roger Day to elementary schools throughout the state’s coastal counties. In vibrant songs about marsh mud and vulture vomit, Day teaches children about their own backyard, the beautiful marshes and ecosystems of the Georgia coast. Day has performed the Marsh Madness song collection before more than 12,000 elementary children on the Georgia coast. Through colorful study guides developed by the University of Georgia Marine Extension Services and Georgia Sea Grant, teachers can recreate the Marsh Madness experience in their own classrooms.
Marsh Madness is Born
In 2009, Georgia Sea Grant created a five-day residency at the UGA Marine Institute on Sapelo Island for Day and commissioned him to compose a program of songs about the Georgia coast for elementary school audience. While watching turtles nest and trekking through the maritime forest, Day wrote a song cycle about the importance of habitat and watershed health, the abundance of creatures that depend on the state’s water resources and how individuals can help protect the coastal eco-system.
To help children understand the ecosystem topics presented in the songs, Georgia Sea Grant worked with Jennifer Cole, an instructional coach at Winterville Elementary School, to create lesson plans that teachers use to educate their classes about the science in the songs before the performances. Cole matched material in the songs with state science teaching standards for grades three through five.
In partnership with the Savannah Music Festival, Georgia Sea Grant initially scheduled ten days of in-school performances of the songs in coastal-area elementary schools, as well as a featured performance at the Savannah Music Festival, reaching over 5,000 young learners.
Photo credit: Andrew Tucker, University of Georgia
2011 Concert Series
In September 2011, Day and Georgia Sea Grant again partnered with the Savannah Music Festival to present Marsh Madness to more than 7,000 children on the Georgia coast. To keep the madness alive, a professional DVD of Day’s recent Marsh Madness performances will be available starting the summer of 2012. For more DVD information or to place an order, visit the www.rogerday.com.
Download mp3s and lyrics from Marsh Madness!