On May 16th, the Baer School officially opened the Music Garden, the design, creation, and handiwork of Board member Jack McWilliams. McWilliams, the now-retired former owner of Maxalea Nurseries, conceived the Music Garden as the culmination of a project that turned an ordinary courtyard into a multi-sensory green space where children can see, smell, taste, hear, and touch their surroundings.
Sponsored by BGE, Anne and George Bunting, the Homeland Garden Club, Maxalea Nurseries, and Jack McWilliams, the garden has been enjoyed by students and classes nonstop since its completion earlier this spring.
Baer students love the interactive musical instruments along the path, and the cause/effect nature of the music-playing statues that play when you press a button. They also love the hand-made, guitar shaped stage, lovingly hand-built by McWilliams and Scott Earp. With trees, flowers, grass, a vegetable garden, fruit trees, and music, an ordinary courtyard has been transformed into a magical outdoor learning space for children.
The Frederick Douglass High School Marching Band launched the opening by marching around the school, and then into the Music Garden.
The kids loved the music! Then our own, multi-talented teacher, Mr. King, played sax while student Braxton accompanied him on the maraccas. McWilliams and Baer student Xavier gave a demonstration of the five musical statues and how to make them play music.
Xavier showed us how it was done:
And just like that, it played “Old McDonald!.” Keenan Geter from the Office of Mayor Catherine Pugh issued an Award of Recognition for the Music Garden:
Then Baer’s music teacher, Mr. Stevenson, took to the (guitar-shaped) stage, and had a sing-along with the kids, to Puff the Magic Dragon. If you can see behind the people in the above photo: you’ll see the bush that has been transformed into Puff the Magic Dragon! During the song, bubbles came out of Puff’s nose and mouth: the kids were amazed!
It was a magical day. We invite everyone to visit the Music Garden any time to see for yourself how it is making a difference in the lives and education of the Baer students. THANK YOU to our sponsors and volunteers for all the hard work that went into creating this magical space!