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Mr. Keillor, I am graduating

October 21, 2005 |

Mr. Keillor, I am graduating soon from the University of Iowa with a degree in music education. I have been nominated to give the student speech at my teacher education convocation in December. Your quote "Nothing we do for children is ever wasted," is an inspiration for my possible speech. I was wondering if you had any other advice for new teachers going into the profession.

Thank You,
Ashley Jogerst

Ashley, I'm glad you like the line, though it does strike me as inadequate. I mean, there's a lot done for children that's just wrong-headed and destructive. But music educators have a pleasant and helpful gift that is not wasted and that is to make certain that children are acquainted with American folk song, starting with the Star-Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful to Whoopi-ti-yi-yo and Home on the Range and Frankie & Johnny and John Henry and the E-ri-e Canal and O Little Town of Bethlehem and Amazing Grace and on and on. Songs contain something of the soul and spirit of our country, and we owe our children a chance to know these things.

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