Grandparents and Special Friends Day is always such a fun program to prepare for. In every level of music class, we learn pieces that open the door for other activities in class. Last year, we played boom-whacker pitched percussion tubes with the 2nd grade song “Singing in the Rain” and learned about accompaniments and chords. In 1st grade, we learned about da capo and form while singing “The Bare Necessities.” In Kindergarten, we made up our own verses for each class for “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” and the students had fun sharing their favorite parts of Kindergarten. In Junior Kindergarten we added color movement and talked about rainbows and what makes them for “I Can Sing a Rainbow”, and in HATs we had fun with tempos and singing “Head Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” This year is gearing up to be an equally exciting performance by our hard-working and talented students.
In one Kindergarten class though, we had some pretty deep discussions when learning the combined piece, “May All Children.” This song is a Music Together song that I learned when doing my teacher training. I instantly fell in love with the melody, especially the simplicity of it, and most importantly, the message of the song. As we were singing, I realized that many of my Kindergarten students were singing the tune so beautifully, and a few even looked like they had tears in their own eyes while singing. It was the perfect opportunity for a teachable moment about the value of music and how we connect emotionally in music! Even more impressive, this teachable moment happened in a Kindergarten classroom!
When the song finished, there was complete silence for a few seconds (another amazing thing that happened that day — silence in a Kindergarten class!), and I asked the students how the song made them feel. They were eager to express their feelings and were listening so well to other students. I asked them what peace meant and then explained that not everyone is fortunate in our world to live in peace. There are children right now in situations of war, or violence, or homelessness. We talked about the refugees from Syria and how they probably just want opportunities for peace and happiness like we have here.
One little girl, with her lopsided ponytail and Circle H sweater said “Can we sing this song for those kids?”
And then there were tears in my eyes. I am so lucky to teach these students! We often talk about the impact teachers have on the students they teach, but sometimes you have a moment like this when your own students touch your heart. For me, that’s the true Academy Advantage.