Music Has an Extra Element of Fun during the Winter Holiday Season
Music class—always a time of creativity —has an extra element of fun during the winter holiday season. As elementary music teachers continue building students’ knowledge of rhythm, tempo, form, pitch and musical notation through singing, playing instruments and movement, lighthearted pieces from the Nutcracker as well as timeless favorite like "Let it Snow" add excitement and color, like the festive sprinkles on a holiday cookie.
playing recorders at kes
Dancing to the Nutcracker at IMES
playing boomwackers at MPES
It’s all focus and concentration as Katonah Elementary’s third graders play recorders in unison.
Towards the end of class, the instruments are put away and Katonah Elementary School music teacher Michael Gelfer gets out his guitar. The students stand and sing songs including "Jingle Bell Rock," "Let It Snow," "My Favorite Things" and "Winter Wonderland" with gusto. They are preparing for the all-school sing-along at the Sharing Assembly before Holiday Break. “I call it the Shout-Along,” said Gelfer. They are that excited.
Step out to the right, two times. Step out to the left, two times. March in place. Jump and freeze!
Increase Miller Elementary School’s second graders are all smiles as they do movements inspired by the Nutcracker’s Trepak Dance. They learn what to do by watching music teacher April Higgins point to a listening map, or graphic representation, of Tchaikovsky's famous ballet. “Matching each section to dance movements reinforces form,” she said. “The students are seeing how songs are created, recognizing the building blocks needed to create these wonderful pieces."
The fourth graders inch closer and closer to the white board, where the music for “Frosty, the Snowman” is displayed. Each student is intent on hitting their boomwacker at just the right time.
Boomwackers are long plastic percussion tubes, color coded to different musical notes. Students have fun reading music, listening to the others, keeping a steady beat ... and singing along to holiday favorites!
“In PE, it’s good to be fast,” said music teacher Melissa Richardson. “In music, if you are fast or slow, it’s wrong. If you are on time, it's right."