School, Library, Family Programs

Music of Shakespeare's Time

Music of Colonial Times

Summer Reading Program

Comments on the programs

Fees for Assemblies


Comments about previous show "A Midsummer Night's Picnic"

Rob and Anne interacted with the children at each point of the program. The performers dressed in period costumes and adjusted their costumes for songs at times. The performers also showed the children simple instruments and how to identify them. At the same time, Rob and Anne connected their large assortment of instruments with songs for which they taught the children how to sing, do hand movements, and dance. The song lyrics consistently magnetized the children to the performance as they interacted on several levels with our performers.

For each song, Rob and Anne sang and played renaissance instruments: shawms, crumhorns, recorders, a small lute, viola da gamba, fife, drum, pipe and tabor. The instruments were of several types: blown, strummed, bowed and struck. The songs were a lot of fun, too: Rob and Anne taught us hand movements and words to refrains for each song to be sung. For variety, some of the songs were instrumental and not sung: pieces on the shawms, for instance. The shawms are very loud instruments and are used for outdoor playing and for marking the time for the townspeople. So they played and sang a song about rhythm and time. Another example of a renaissance instrument that they used was the renaissance guitar that Anne strummed for some of the songs. Rob also played his viola da gamba, which looks like a small cello, and a hammered dulcimer.-Youth Librarian

Comments about previous show "A Little Knight Music"

Anne and Rob presented an excellent program. Rob is so animated that the children really laughed a lot. He made sure the dragon mask was not too scary; a very smart precaution. Both Anne and Rob are talented musicians; their performances we amazing—many songs were memorized, and they play such a variety of instruments! I would definitely recommend this program to groups of any type. It is educational and fun.

The overall performance was story was outstanding. The performers did a great job of getting the audience involved in an educational program. The speech at the end of the show was a great feature because it allowed the audience to research the topics mentioned in the show in more detail. The artists have a wonderful presentation style. Great performance! I hope that our library can have other programs from your group. You both do a great job of interacting with the kids.

The kids really enjoyed the program. What really impressed me was the ability of the performers to interact with the children and still stay in character. For example: children would call out “prompts” or “suggestions” (as children would do) and instead of ignoring them, one of the performers would acknowledge them in some way without breaking their pace. This program would be excellent in any child-centered situation.

The length and presentation of the program was perfect for my first grade audience. It was very entertaining for them and very educational to see storytelling enhanced by very wonderful music. The students were exposed to many different instruments that they would not ordinarily see. The presenters did a spectacular job introducing themselves and establishing prior knowledge before they gave their program. I also feel they did an excellent job allowing the students to participate and become part of the program.
-First Grade Teacher

"A Little Knight Music" was an outstanding program. The story setting with costumes was an excellent way to present Renaissance music. Anne and Rob captured the children's attention along with their hearts right at the start of the performance. I talked with several other teachers and we all agreed that it was entertaining for both adults and children. This program would be an excellent foundation for a school wide unit based on the Renaissance time period.
-Art Specialist

The children and I loved the program. It was culturally enriching and so well done. It seems you took what kids like most (group involvement, the "dragon" hiding) and combined these elements to make up the wonderful program. Thanks for enriching our lives!
-Second Grade Teacher

This was an excellent program! The fact that a class of 5 year-olds was totally captivated for 45 minutes is testimony itself. We all thoroughly enjoyed "A Little Knight Music." I would definitely recommend this to others.
-Kindergarten Teacher

One of the best assemblies we've had! The message, the music, the audience participation—!!
-Kindergarten Teacher

Comments about previous show "Strike it up, Pipers!"

I feel the program was very beneficial and well designed with information interspersed with musical performance. The children seemed very receptive and as I watched our third graders in the front of the audience, they kept sliding forward to get closer as the assembly went on. The performers had good rapport with the audience and maintained good control while allowing for audience participation.
-Third Grade Teacher

The artists' communications skills were excellent. They explained everything in terms third to sixth graders could understand. The performance was both entertaining and educational.
-Upper Elementary Teacher

Excellent program—really held the students' attention; content was excellent for fourth graders because they learn to play the recorder in fourth; performers were excellent in playing ability and knowledge about the subject matter; communication skills were excellent too!
-Upper Elementary Teacher

Rob and Anne Burns are very talented and their program is very worthwhile. Students were interested and learned some information about the Middle Ages that isn't found in books. The artists spoke to sixth graders with humor but without patronizing or talking over their heads.
-Sixth Grade Teacher

The program enhanced the children's understanding of the Renaissance. They enjoyed every minute of it. They were involved and were impressed with your ability to play so many instruments, and with your knowledge of the Shakespearean era. It was entertaining, education and inspirational. The children are still talking about it.
-Social Studies Teacher

We invited about 250 students. They were from our Honors program (grades nine-twelve) and second-hour English classes as well as invited individual students from college English classes who had high interest in music or history. The audience was fascinated! This is a great help for our Shakespeare and Renaissance units. All students reported high interest because the duo was "so entertaining" and because of what they learned.
-High School English Teacher

General Comments:

Once again we were pleased to present A Reasonable Facsimile to our 6th graders. The artists are talented musically as well as having a great deal of historical information to pass along. The show is lively and entertaining while fulfilling curriculum needs.
- Grade 6 Team Leader

This was an outstanding program. The story setting with costumes was an excellent way to present Renaissance music. Anne and Rob captured the children’s attention along with their hearts right at the start of the performance. They are wonderful teachers, actors and musicians who put on a show that taught and entertained our staff and students.
-Elementary Art Specialist

This was one of our most successful programs. With the age group ranging from 3 1/2 years old through 6th grade, you kept all the children entertained. Audience participation was very good. I had mothers come in to tell me their children really enjoyed the program. I would recommend this program for any group.
-Children’s Librarian

I thought the content was very appropriate and enlightening for the groups. The selections were short and did not tax the children, yet each one was unique and the initial comments gave the children something special to attend to.
-Elementary Dance Instructor

The contents of both performances were age appropriate, educational and amusing. Anne and Rob Burns were quite expert in their presentations and were very informative in explaining all the musical instruments that they brought. I personally gained a great deal from their presentations and would highly recommend them to other schools.
-Elementary School Principal

The students could not suppress their pleasure in the music as they responded by tapping their feet in accompaniment and laughing in appropriate places. The program fit in perfectly with the Shakespearean theme. The program was varied, well performed, and designed to hold students’ interest. By using humor, the performers were able to explain Elizabethan dress, instruments, etc. in an interesting, memorable manner.
-High School English Teacher

"Even I, as a grownup, enjoyed this presentation this morning. Anne and Rob Burns did a great job performing and explaining each instrument they played." (Parent)

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