Happy 4th of July
Posted on: 4th July 2011 19:09:23


Welcome to the July Installment –-The Music Man!


As I begin this month’s conversation, I must start with an apology.  Through conversation with many of you during the last several months, together with research of my own, I have discovered this film is out of print! 

I had no idea when I began putting this project together that such a great classic would ever go out of print!  But take heart the film is still available at your local library and can be purchased through www. amazon.com as an instant video on your laptop!

The Music Man was chosen for inclusion in the workbook because it fits well into the overall holiday theme of the book – July 4th!

I think Professor Harold Hill is a great character. He is the absolute essence of the slick con man – good looks, charm and a line for everyone!   But this con man is different from many others in that through his relationship with Marion—the librarian, (whom he initially sees as just another conquest), and her little brother, Winthrop, (isn’t Ron Howard the cutest 7 year old?), he becomes a good and caring man. He gives the town just what it needs a jolt of  F-U-N! (Remember that’s what Movies and Music is all about – finding the fun along the way for you and your clients).

This film is fun from the very beginning. I absolutely love how Harold excites the crowds in the town square about the “trouble” they have “right here in River City” and convinces them that the solution to the problem of a pool table in their town lies in the formation of a boys’ band. 

With “trouble” looming he then goes to the gymnasium and once again excites the crowd with a fabulous rendition of “76 Trombones”. It is here that he gets the kids to follow him knowing that it’s the kids who can convince their parents to spend the money on the instruments and uniforms! 

My group members tell quite a few stories about how their kids often had the power to get what they wanted from them!  It is also during these two musical numbers that I get spontaneous reactions of laughter and singing!  

As with all the other films we also find ourselves talking about the relationship between men and women.


 The first meeting: “Didn’t I meet you in?”

The chase: “When I try in here to tell you dear, I love you madly, madly Madam Librarian!”

The first date: “Meet me at the Foot Bridge in 15 minutes.”

The beginning of a great romance: “Til There Was You”

Many of the ladies vividly recall dating their spouses and most are eager to share some great stories of courtship.

Many of the ladies can also relate to Marion’s skepticism about this man. Should she believe everything a man tells her? Unlike her mother, she is not so quick to trust a stranger.  

As the story continues we also find that the ladies of the town are not so quick to trust Miss Marion. But they are quick to judge her and waste no time gossiping about her in the presence of Professor Hill. This gives my group a great opportunity to discuss the evils of gossip and what it can do.

This film also gives me the opportunity to address:

Word finding:  “What is a Shapoopie? 

Visual imagery: When those women get together to gossip, what do they look like? (Chickens).

Problem Solving: If you were Marion what would you do? Would you tear a page from the book about Gary Conservatory? Why, or why not?

In asking these questions I can reach therapeutic goals, while opening great avenues to conversation and reminiscence.

I hope you have the opportunity to open similar avenues in your group.


See you in August for the Best Movie Musical Ever Made – My Favorite – Singin’ In The Rain!











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