Ramstein Elementary cleans up with Green Music Project

by Staff Sgt. Travis Edwards
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

With more than 325 children in 18 classes, Leah Murthy has her hands full coming up with new, innovative ideas to keep her music classes informed and entertained.

But, as Earth Day came to a close in April, she knew what she wanted to do that would not only allow the children (Kindergarden through second grade) to learn and have fun, but also be good for the environment — enter the Green Music Project.

“I’ve been teaching music for nine years; in high school, middle school and now elementary,” said Murthy, who is in her third year at Ramstein Elementary School. “I thought it would be great way to address being green, highlight Earth Day and also bring in something I’m passionate about (ambient sounds).”

Each class started with making sounds with their bodies and mouths and transitioned to making music with simple household items like plastic water bottles, newspapers and plastic grocery bags.

“It’s something simple that’s free and gets everyone involved with the planet,” Murthy said. “They were so excited to be helping out the earth and happy to be dancing.”

The day wound down with a few videos showing professional groups who tour using nothing but vegetables or reused items for instruments. Then the students all got up and danced to the vegetable orchestra, followed shortly by Murthy.

“It’s more fun as a teacher when you can get up and dance around the room and the children get up with you,” she said. “There is so much pure joy in the small children.”

The green project hit home with all the children as well, because when asked about how each of them help out the Earth, they all echoed “picking up trash.”
Additionally, LaGrace Parker, a kindergardener, said she recycles plastic bottles as well.

“It’s fun to help, we need to help clean up the trash on the sidewalk,” she said.
But no Earth Day themed music class would be complete without the singing of an Earth Day song. The class finished out the day with a green themed song, sang to the beat of the “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

“It was a fun day,” Murthy said. “I can’t wait to do it again next year.”