Concord West Side songbook

Concord West Side songbook

Concord West Side music teacher compiles cultural songbook

Concord West Side Elementary School teacher Christa Jones is always on the lookout for music that is meaningful to her students and transcends time.

As she looks around the room during her music classes at Concord West Side, she sees children from many countries, religious and ethnic backgrounds, and cultures.

“It can be challenging sometimes to find classroom music that represents all of our students, their families, and their family’s culture,” Jones explained.

In response, she decided to tap the cultural wealth at Concord West Side by reaching out to her students’ families, collecting folk songs, and creating a songbook.

“I know that a lot of our families make music at home together and so I’m looking for the songs that they share in their household and I want to collect them all into a songbook and then I can share them with the whole school so that we can all learn from each other’s cultures, learn from each other’s families, and have a good wealth of songs that we can learn in music class and sing together,” she said.


Jones has been teaching music at Concord West Side for six years.

The song book project is part of her master’s degree requirements through the VanderCook College of Music, but more importantly, Jones said she hopes her work will benefit families at Concord West Side for years to come.

Jones welcomes lullabies, hand-clapping games, folk songs, and everything in between, with one exception: She cannot accept music that has a copyright “Nothing you hear on the radio,” she tells her students.

“Specifically, I’m looking for songs that have been around for a long time … older songs that have been passed down for generations,” she said.

As a young child, Jones recalls her grandma introducing her to songs such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” while her mom taught her “Patty Cake” and other childhood favorites.

“Those are really great memories for me because they were musical memories that brought my family together,” she said. “Those are the types of songs that I’m looking for.”

Ms. Jones offers three opportunities to submit a song for the West Side song collection project. The deadline to submit a song is February 28, 2019.

Fill out the song collection Google form online. CLICK HERE for the form.

Ask your student to request a copy of the song collection packet, fill it out, and return it to Ms. Jones. CLICK HERE to download and print the packet.

Schedule an appointment with Ms. Jones to share your song! Email her at or call 574-293-2531, ext. 84201.


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