Elementary Music

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!

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 ...