On Monday I had lunch with my 8 year old at his school. As I walked past their music room I heard the kids playing all sorts of instruments; not necessarily in beat, but along with a CD playing. That's when it hit me: these kids need to play some instruments.
Singing is wonderful. Learning music theory is wonderful. But there is something about pounding sticks together or banging something noisy that makes kids smile.
So we banged and pounded. And those kids smiled.
The Christian school where I teach has a meager assortment of instruments. But we made the most of that meager amount and the kids were never the wiser.
I introduced the song Ebeneezer Sneezer which is a great song to explore an octave and really warm up the voice and work on pitch matching. So we sang it a few times together sans instruments. Then I introduced the centers/stations.
The stations were: piano, rhythm sticks, bells/glocks, singing and instruments.
As we rotated around the stations, I also seized the opportunity to develop proper concert form:
1. prepare instruments
2. eyes on me
3. wait for a four count lead in
4. watch for my downbeat.
And the best part was....they got it! Hooray for success!