In forty-minute classes, students enjoy a well-balanced musical meal
Second graders hold colorful tubes like swords, but all eyes are on the classroom smartboard, where simple, color-coded music for “Jingle Bells” scrolls by. When the notation shows an A, the students holding the long purple tubes give them a satisfying smack on their side. As the students holding short red tubes see a C coming up, they get ready to play their part.
Meadow Pond Elementary’s Boomwacker chorus is at the ready, having fun and reading notations for notes and timing.
Boomwackers are just one of the many engaging instruments and activities that Katonah-Lewisboro’s elementary music educators use to teach students to read, write and reproduce rhythmic and melodic patterns. In forty-minute classes, students enjoy a well-balanced musical meal!
Boomwackers are tuned to a musical pitch
MPES Second Grade
Warming up with musical smorgasbord of starters
Meadow Pond Elementary music teacher Melissa Richardson begins one second grade class by serving up a musical smorgasbord of starters!
She quiets the class with rhythmic clapping. Students love reading the fun winter holiday notation she put on the white board. A menorah is three claps, while present and stocking are two.
Everybody sits up straight for SO LA ME—a game in which Richardson sings a phrase and the students repeat it until they hear a specific sequence of notes. If any student repeats that phrase in error, it is one point for the teacher.
All the while, a rainbow of Boomwackers lay on the classroom carpet, promising the fun ahead.
A focus on learning a new skill
“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is as fun to play on ukulele as it is to sing, Increase Miller Elementary’s fourth graders know!
Music teacher April Higgins starts with easy-to-remember images for ukulele basics. Hold the instrument like the shoulder strap of a seatbelt. Curve your strumming fingers like you are making a hand shadow of a duck. Soon the students are playing four chords: C, A minor, G and F. They practice adding the seventh note, an F sharp, to make a G7.
Small groups of ukulele players choose a chord to become an expert in and Higgins conducts a ukulele orchestra. She motions for each group to play their part. It becomes second nature, and they sing as they strum:
Wee heeheeheehee weeoh aweem away, Rrr, la la la weeoh aweem away ...
IMES Fourth grade
KES First Grade
Music Often Ends with Movement
Katonah Elementary’s first graders, led by music teacher Brian Cuzzi, sings winter songs including "Frosty, the Snowman" and "Winter Wonderland" with gusto as they prepare for the all-school sing-along at the end of December.
After sitting and singing, it's time to move. While Cuzzi plays “Teddy Bear” on the piano, students pretend to be sleeping, jump up high and turn around, as well as take turns keeping the beat with scratch sticks.
Everyone joins in a parade around the classroom carpet, moving in time to “Little Train.” Students tap hand drums, rhythm sticks and tambourines as they march, sidestep and skip.
By the time music class comes to a close, students have connected as group through song and movement.