With the coming of spring, teachers have fresh opportunities to share music in the classroom with their students in new ways. Whether teaching at the preschool or elementary school level, spring is an excellent time to change up a classroom routine and engage kids in new ways that challenge them. Here are some creative ways teachers can help students grow in their appreciation for music.
Learn Season-Appropriate Songs
The holidays throughout spring give teachers an opportunity to tie music education into their student’s normal lives. Around St. Patrick’s Day, instructors can introduce children to Irish music and culture. Even in a secular setting, Easter is an appropriate season to share some of the religious music around the holiday. Because of Christianity’s influence on the West throughout history, Easter-related songs can be used to showcase how music developed through the centuries. Towards the end of the school year, Memorial Day provides the perfect setting for teaching students the Star Spangled Banner and other patriotic songs.
Incorporate Decorations into the Lessons
The music lessons related to these holidays can be reinforced through music-themed holiday decorations. Finding music-themed holiday decorations can be a challenge, but young children will love making these decorations themselves. Perhaps the music in the classroom and the art curriculum can be coordinated, so students are making decorations for the music room in art class.
Perform a Concert
In school, most music programs host a holiday concert and an end-of-the year performance. Adding a third or fourth concert to the program can be stressful, especially with young kids. Rescheduling the final performance for a holiday, though, is an easy way to incorporate music into the spring season and its related festivities. In a Christian school, an Easter concert would be appropriate. In a secular setting, a Memorial Day concert is always appreciated by military personnel and their families. For a truly unique twist on music, teachers can focus on the Irish culture and give a St. Patrick’s Day concert.
Listen to the Sounds of Nature
As the weather warms up, classes can head outside to listen to the sounds of nature. Kids can be asked what they hear. While answers will vary depending on the school’s setting, this exercise encourages children to listen for subtle sounds and appreciate the natural sounds around them. For a fun challenge in creativity, classes can head back indoors afterwards and try to mimic the sounds they heard using instruments. With a little help from the teacher, perhaps a class can repeat a bird’s song on the piano. For the rustling of new leaves, children might have to think of a less conventional instrument to use.
There are many ways to merge music with the festivities of spring; all that is needed is a little creativity. By designing a music program around the activities children are already involved in at home, teachers can show young students how music in the classroom relates to their lives.