TWING … TWANG … TWUNG … went the sound of the harpsichord. A gentleman was seated at the harpsichord, wearing Colonial attire. Once we were seated, he introduced himself as Dr. Hildebrand.
Before he performed a song, he would tell us the history and its backstory. He played Yankee Doodle, A Toast, and other songs. He sang other verses of Yankee Doodle that we were unfamiliar to us, but we quickly caught on and sang along. He also showed us you can easily make your own custom verse to the song like others have done. And for A Toast, he told us about how, in the 1700’s, people would want to clang their mugs together with a gentleman and it was called a “Toast”. Over the years people put different lyrics to many colonial tunes such as, Yankee Doodle and For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow. All the 4th graders in the room were very interested.
The children were very fascinated with his music and materials. He not only played the harpsichord but also performed music on an array of other beautiful Colonial instruments: the Banjo, the Piccolo, Lute, and a Mandolin. Dr. Hildebrand told us about the designs of the instruments which had round and smooth surfaces with different shapes and sizes. After explaining each of the instruments, Dr. Hildebrand claimed, “My voice is my favorite musical instrument”. We were all blown away!
Dr. Hildebrand told us that he wanted to create this performance because it was a great way to learn history through music rather than books, dates, and people. We were curious to learn if he only worked with schools. He informed us that after leaving Chickering School, he was headed to Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, the US Constitution Museum in Boston, and Newport, Rhode Island where he was not instructing but playing his musical instruments. He loves working with children and sharing his love of music.
Reported by Cyrus and Katana