Sunday, January 15, 2012
just listen to the music play
These pictures are from my current classroom.
When I was fifteen I started to learn how to play the guitar, thanks to family for having the patience to teach me during family gatherings. I stayed with it and now music plays a big role in daily life and my teaching practice. I knew that I wanted to have music in my classroom. I have learned that music has the power to make a reserved group rowdy and music can settle a rowdy group. When I first started I developed a program called "Little Fingers on Frets". Although the program has not developed into something that can stand on its own it is still a part of my classroom. Through fundraising and donations I have always had child sized guitars in my classroom. The children have music class once a week with a music teacher and music once a week with me. I tend to focus more on hands-on, world instruments and guitars. When we gather we make a beautiful ruckus. The class usually ends in a dance party. Two years ago a group of boys formed a music group and wrote a song called "Donuts and Coffee in my Refrigerator".
This year I combined two classes. On Mondays we have World Food cooking class. Often parents come to the classroom and help with the cooking. Each week we choose a different country and make food from that country. The children also learn about various customs and we listen to the music from that country. We were cooking food from Brazil. The class made a fantastic lunch. All the cleaning was done, it was time for our weekly World Dance party. The children have Spanish once a week so they are familiar with Latin music. I announced, "Today we will be dancing to a few Salsa tunes!" A child, new to the school replied "Salsa music? We did not make any chips."
Flashback... Have you heard of a didgeridoo? If you have not you may want to listen before going further. We were studying Australia so I thought that I would bring in this simple, magnificent sounding instrument. I spent a few weeks trying to learn the very basics. I got it to make noise and my cheeks got red but that was the best I could do. I introduced it to the class, gave a brief description and began to "play". Here was the reaction of one little boy. "That is an instrument? That is not an instrument. That instrument sounds like a fart machine!" I could not argue,that is exactly how I made it sound. Thank goodness I had a real didgeridoo recording on hand. It was even funnier when you consider the boy had a real heavy Maine accent.