Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Welcome Back, Lower School!

It is so fantastic to be back to teaching. I feel blessed to have had so much one-on-one time with my now almost-10-month-old baby, and now he is in excellent hands while big sister and I are at school. Here’s a glimpse into our first two weeks of music classes in the Lower School!


One of the first things the students noticed upon entering the studio was our brand new digital piano, complete with “no touchie” sign to keep it in good shape for as long as possible. Our many young pianists were eager to know if they would ever get to play it, and the answer is YES, during music sharing, which will begin in a few weeks. Parents, check your email!

One of our start-of-year traditions is making name sticks, which we use nearly every class. Here, the name sticks are having a conversation with my flea ukulele, which the kids were very happy to see. Our LS ukuleles took a quick vacation up to the Middle School, but will be returning by the end of the week, ready for all our little fingers.

Our new Forest and Mountain students completed the much-anticipated ritual of selecting their recorder colors. Like last year, the 3rd-years and 4th-years are in separate groups, allowing for a more progressive approach to the instrumental curriculum. 4th-years will be using their recorders for a second year, reviewing and building on their skills, while 3rd-years will be learning the basics. This separation also allows our 4th-years to advance more quickly on the ukulele, as their hands are larger and their coordination and frustration tolerance are increasing.

Our first all-school settling-in songs were old favorites: “This Little Light of Mine” and “You Gotta Sing.” See below for the words. This week, we’re learning (or re-learning) a favorite round of our old-timers, “This Pretty Planet.” We’ll being doing lots of rounds in the coming weeks, especially in Forest and Mountain class, as we learn more about singing in harmony. Forest and Mountain already learned a beautiful countermelody to “This Little Light of Mine.” CFS loves to sing, and one of my goals as a music teacher is for no child to grow up thinking he or she is “tone deaf” or “can’t sing.” Not in my vocabulary!


Finally, this week the older classes had their first drum circles, and the younger classes played rhythm sticks. We learned “I’ve Got a Dog” with the rhythm sticks, a silly song we’ll be using to introduce each type of instrument. We’re also getting reacquainted with some old favorites through songbook sing-alongs in Forest and Mountain.


I’ll be posting again soon--each half-class at CFS has music twice a week, so we are able to get right into things!



Please comment here or email me if you have any questions about the music program. I look forward to meeting new parents soon!



This Little Light of Mine

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine (3x)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine


Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine (3x)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine


My brothers and my sisters, I’m gonna let ‘em shine (3x)
Let ‘em shine, let ‘em shine, let ‘em shine


These dancin' feet of mine, I'm gonna let 'em shine (3x)
Let 'em shine, let 'em shine, let 'em shine


All around the world, we’re all gonna shine (3x)
We’ll all shine, we’ll all shine, we’ll all shine



You Gotta Sing

You gotta sing when your spirit says sing (2x)
When your spirit says sing, you gotta sing right along,
You gotta sing when your spirit says sing


You gotta shout when your spirit says shout (2x)
When your spirit says shout, you gotta shout right out loud,
You gotta shout when your spirit says shout


You gotta wiggle when your spirit says wiggle (2x)
When your spirit says wiggle, you gotta wiggle like a worm,
You gotta wiggle when your spirit says wiggle


You gotta shake when your spirit says shake (2x)
When your spirit says shake, you gotta shake like a snake
You gotta shake when your spirit says shake


You gotta dance when your spirit says dance (2x)
When your spirit says dance, you gotta dance right along
You gotta dance when your spirit says dance
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