Over the past 4 months I had the pleasure of making music with the amazing students and teachers at Ocean View Elementary and Albany Children’s Center in the T-K, K and K-1 classrooms. I had such a wonderful time working with the students and exploring so many beautiful ways to make music together! It has been such a pleasure learning with them and I am very grateful for their ideas and enthusiasm for making music!
During our 10 weeks together we explored how to make sounds with our bodies, voices and instruments. We learned about musical elements including: tempo, volume, pitch, steady beat, rhythm and melody. We also explored important themes such as friendship and appreciating all of our differences.
We had a wonderful musical celebration and invited our families to join us with all 7 classrooms coming together for a Sing-Along. Students showcased their knowledge of pitch, volume, melody and rhythm with our “Fireworks” vocal warm up, Kodaly solfége hand signals and a selection of songs.
Students taught me over 20 ways to say hello in their home languages and we celebrated the diversity of our community by singing our hello song in many of those languages. Students also utilized their great rhyming skills to help write a song appreciating our differences. Together, classes came up with 4 verses to our song:
We are peach, and tan and brown
We were born here, and out of town
Some have black hair, some have white
Some like to read, some like to write!
Some are short and some are tall
Some like spring, and some like fall
Some are from here, some from afar
That’s OK that’s who we are!
We are different and that’s OK
Because we’re different in different ways!
As our amazing Kindergarten teachers can tell you, these types of activities are not just fun, but enrich and support the students’ development as individuals and as a group. Please advocate for continuous and sequential music and arts education for all children grades Pre-K through 3rd, as it is so beneficial to their development during this time when they are developing language, motor and social skills!
Click here to read a recent study discussing the benefits of teaching music in early elementary and links between music & language development. “When you look at children ages two to nine, one of the breakthroughs in that area is music’s benefit for language development, which is so important at that stage,” says Luehrisen.
Keep On Singing!
YIA Mentor Artist and Program Director, Nydia Algazzali Gonzalez