Moorhead teachers strike a chord doing 'Old Town COVID Shuffle'

Music teachers at Moorhead's elementary schools got creative when teaching COVID safety, as they rapped and sang their lessons.

Moorhead's Elementary Music teachers are teaching kids COVID safety through The Old Town COVID Shuffle. Photo:YouTube

MOORHEAD — When you think of trying to teach children how to be COVID-safe, the term “herding cats” might come to mind. After all, adults aren't always that great about keeping masks on, washing hands for 30 seconds and staying 6 feet away from each other. How do we expect 6-year-olds to do it?

Well, some creative music teachers at Moorhead’s elementary schools decided they’d help the kids understand COVID safety by doing a little country/rap . The teachers from Dorothy Dodds Elementary School, Ellen Hopkins Elementary School, Robert Asp Elementary School and S.G. Reinertsen Elementary School decided to dust off their cowboy boots and plaid shirts to do their own rendition of Lil Nas X “Old Town Road.” Joan Degerness, music teacher at Dorothy Dodds Elementary, wrote the lyrics and Chris Olson, music teacher at Ellen Hopkins Elementary, produced the video. The video was the elementary music departments' first lesson for K-4 students this year.

While Billy Ray Cyrus is featured in the well-known Little Nas X version of the song, the Moorhead teachers had their own special guest performer: Moorhead School District Superintendent Brandon Lunak, sporting a black hat, playing guitar and pretending to whistle.


The "Old Town Covid Shuffle" isn't the only video message Moorhead Schools have produced this week. The Spuds also produced a “Return to Learn” video documenting and celebrating the most unique first week in the history of the school.

It captures the new protocols and changes for staff and students. The video features the Phillip Phillips song “Home” as sung by Moorhead High alumni Dan Brekke, who is now a recording artist in Nashville.

“The smiling faces throughout speak to the joy of being able to be back together and the incredible resilience of our entire Spud team, said Moorhead School Executive Director of Community Engagement and Public Relations Brenda Richman.

For more information about Dan Brekke visit

Tracy Briggs is an Emmy-nominated News, Lifestyle and History reporter with Forum Communications with more than 35 years of experience, in broadcast, print and digital journalism.
What To Read Next
Get Local