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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Music and Dance at School

Art and Soul is becoming a fully integrated arts curriculum.  Art making has always been at the heart of our program, but as we grow, I am so excited to add Creative Movement and Music into our daily routine.  The children have always had music, yoga, and dance during circle time, but they now get a half hour of Creative Movement with Dance Instructor Erika Russo, and live music from Music Teacher and Teaching Assistant Kate Boyer. 

I love this series of pictures as the children warm up with traditional stretches that soon become the children taking off in flight!


It is hard to get a clear picture as the children take their turns in the dance circle, but I actually love the movement of this young dancer as she thrills in the joy of her movement.
Choosing dance moves to do along the beanbag path.

 
Creative movement has even traveled outside to talk about paths, then creating their own pathway through drawings that later became a dance pattern on the ground to share with everyone.   Below is a brief clip of some of our young dancers in the Kindergarten class.

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The children have also delighted in Kate's music.  She writes many of her songs, and is currently gathering little expressions and requests from the children, and together they will write future songs.  Kate has also been teaching the children about breathing while they sing and  high and low notes.  I am excited to see where the dance and music will go, there is so much potential for collaboration and expression.


Trying out notes on the guitar

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"Sherman the Horse" an original by Kate Boyer and her niece.

We have even had the opportunity to have a guest performer come in and do music with the children.  Joni Bishop brought in her Dulcimer and handmade cookie tin banjo for us to enjoy.  You can hear more of Joni's music at  http://jonibishop.com/


 


Joni with a captive crowd while she shows the children her Dulcimer. 

Joni playing a tune on her handmade cookie tin banjo which features one of her paintings.

Joni gave each of the children a chance to play a little Dulcimer themselves.
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The children doing a little dance as they walk around the room following Joni.  Excuse my videoing abilities.

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So many wonderful experiences for the children and staff.  We even have another performer lined up in the next couple weeks.  Stayed tuned:)
It is hard for me to believe that Summer is over and we just finished with our third week of school.  I always feel stumped writing the first post of the year.  Those first couple weeks are a whirlwind of activity.  We spend a lot of time adjusting to a new schedule, learning the rhythm of the day, making new friends, and of course comforting and easing the anxiety of starting preschool and kindergarten.   I use this blog as a means for documenting what the children do throughout the day, a little window for parents to peer into and see their children at school.  I also try to make it informative so that parents who stay home with their children, or educators can use it for project ideas. Today's post is a smattering of the various outside adventures we have enjoyed over the past three weeks.


Round and Round, Up and Down we go!  The playground has been a thrill for the children.  Our Bike Merry-Go Round is a highlight, as well as our climbing dome.

We not only are blessed with a little swing set in the playground, but we are also next to a school with a large swing set that we take a little path to on the days when we have older children who all want to swing at once.






Our new playground has some really fun teeter totters as well 


And who can resist a ride on a kiddie kopter or finding shelter from tag in the tunnel.



Sand and gravel pit play are always a nice centering activity for the children.  I often see them run for a while and then play in the sand box to recharge.



Exploring with some tubes in the gravel pit.

Cruising along on the "brake bikes" as the children call them.

The Kindergartners have been enjoying several nature walks around the school and the property next door.  

We have a bunch of children who like to pretend they are monkeys swinging from branches.

We are surrounded by beautiful oak and maple trees, and the children have been enjoying gathering acorns and leaves.

One of our favorite tag games is "The Old Grey Cat"  where one child is the cat, and the others are mice creeping around the sleeping cat, but when the cat wakes those mice better run, and boy do they have some room to run at the new school!
We have also had some visits from natures little friends.

I feel very blessed with the playground and surroundings of our new space, it has been wonderful watching the children explore and enjoy.