The students where I teach are energetic, active, animated students from all walks of life and parts of the world, literally. The first graders who I teach are just excited to be in music class and eager to learn and have fun. The third graders in my classes are English Language Learners; a portion of the school who is mostly made up of Mexican immigrants and refugees from various parts of Africa. A handful of these students are not just new to American school, but to school in general. And finally, the fourth graders here are the big kids on campus; they're strong, with big, bold personalities and voices. They are energetic beyond compare; many cannot sit still without dancing or singing for more than a few minutes at a time. Two of my students just requested a dance-off in class yesterday, and two others are hoping for a sing-off next week.
Despite these differences in educational environments and backgrounds, many of my students share a common love for music, singing, dancing, and playing instruments.
The community surrounding my school reflects the diversity in my classroom, and the sense of community in the neighborhood is present at school as well.
These instruments will help keep my kids engaged as we move together through the year. These instruments will literally put the information and knowledge from our classes together in their hands and bodies. These instruments will encourage creativity, whole body learning, and might even help them share new songs and ideas with each other.
We might speak different languages at school, but if my students can all have a turn to make music together, that's universal and something everyone can understand, appreciate, and take part in.
It's so much easier to demonstrate an idea in music if we can actually make music about it. It's not only easier to show how a rhythm should be played by playing that rhythm, it's good teaching. Learning how to read music from a piece of paper is fine, but being able to play that song together is what is really important.
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