Monday, October 24, 2011

Dancing at the Pumpkin Party

   Dances are a huge portion of the repertoire in piano pieces. I often ask my students which they think came first, dancing or music When I taught Kindermusik Young Child the curriculum called for learning circle dances. I had a small space to work in but I found my 4-7 year-old children loved dancing  My MFPA Lesson Book  B has a cluster of dance music right around Tucker's Secret Life. There is a boogie, a bop, and a folk dance. My goal at this younger Pumpkin Party was to prepare my students to accompany these dances. I taught them to start with an introduction to ready the dancers.Then the challenge was playing smooth enough for us to sing and dance with the accompanist. This is not easy for these 5 and 6's. It required weeks of practice on these songs. But it worked and it was the best activity of the hour.
  We danced around a big gathering drum which represented a birch tree to the piece "Russian Sailor Dance". We moved right, then left, and finally stopped and beat the drum through the second line of the song. Tucker was all over the boogie dance. He had some smooth moves.

   I brought back the game Mr. Music which everyone loves and introduced the quarter rest. In the game asking for a rest or being told to rest meant you could not move from your spot. Ah, to have a bit of power is so stimulating.Thanks to T. who was my student helper for one if the parties.

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