Creative Movement With Seals

On Fridays, the Seals have Creative Movement, which is all focused on movement! We started with learning to start and stop our bodies while listening to music cues. While holding onto a colored stretch band, graciously provided by Bear Paw Creek, the students moved to the music. We jumped, stopped, waited, and then jumped again. They also loved pulling and pushing the band with the teachers as anchors and weight to go against their bodies and arms. The students enjoyed choosing their favorite color to hold.Seals Creative Movement

The students are all smiles and giggles while jumping, pulling, and pushing, sometimes even saying “stop” and “wait” along with the music recording. This stretch band and activity is great for sensory input, motor planning, and listening and following the music cues. The students see the teachers and their peers model how to start and stop the body and they in turn are imitating the movements. They learn to participate as a group and are all part of the stretch band activity. The students have fun and love to jump or bounce, whichever is more comfortable for them. In addition, they look forward to pulling and pushing the stretch band with their arms and bodies and seeing how far they can go within the room and in the middle of the circle. These are strong students who enjoy moving!

I. Seals Creative Movement Seals Creative MovementSeals Creative Movement

Posted in Creative Movement, Seals 14-15 | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Welcome to Choir!

“A choir is where people sing together!” – A. Rockets

The Wranglers, Rockets, Penguins, Mustangs, and Rangers are the members of The Parish School Choir. We are learning how to sing, sing together, and listen to blend our voices. We have rehearsals in two separate groups (Wranglers and Rockets; Penguins, Mustangs, and Rangers) because of space in the library.

With the Rockets and Wranglers, we played a name singing game. Each student who wanted a turn sang their name in front of the group. Then the group sang their name back in a call and response fashion. Students were very excited to make up their own melody and pitches to their names, using high, low, and all the sounds in between. Some students chose to do body percussion, clapping, or using their hands and body to indicate the rhythm.Wranglers, Rockets Choir

All the students giggled and smiled at hearing their friends lead in their names and then having their own name being echoed back to them. There were lots of great creative exploration and experimentation with how to sing their name. This was great in getting comfortable with the group, building vocal and oral muscles, and learning all the members in the choir group. Throughout the week, some of them were still singing and saying their names in rhythm.

The Penguins, Mustangs, and Rangers are working on walking up and standing on the risers in preparation for their first performance at The Parish School’s Annual Fall Luncheon, “Giving Voice To Children.” We are excited to sing for all those who are attending! Hope to see you there!

Rangers, Mustangs, Penguins Choir






Posted in Mustangs 14-15, Penguins 14-15, Rangers 14-15, Rockets 14-15, Wranglers 14-15 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Gathering Drum Fun

We have new additions to the instrument collection at The Parish School: two gathering drums! I have experienced them in other music settings and decided that we needed some. These are strong resilient drums that provide opportunities for various play.

ArmadillosGathering DrumRockets Gathering DrumRangers Gathering Drum

For our first times on the drums, the surface of the drum facilitates learning about personal space, sharing, taking turns, and cooperating together to play. In addition, it has been great for students who are sensory defensive and for those who seek sensory. Those who may not actively drum will place their hands on the surface and feel the vibrations or listen with their ears on the drum surface. Those who play may decide they need to scratch, rub, play hard, or to use more than one part of their body to play to satisfy their sensory needs.

Mustangs Gathering DrumOwls Gathering Drum

Drumming is fun and the students learn imitation through the process. They are watching me lead in different drum play and patterns and then making their bodies/hands do the same thing. We were silly and played the drum with different body parts, per students’ suggestions: elbows, nose, head, hair, ears, chin, forearm, and knee. The drum leads the students to imitate and follow directions while recognize their own spatial area and body. In addition, many of the students were shifting their attention between the drumming to their peers around them and encouraging each other to share space, play differently, or to comment on what they were doing. We drummed up lots of fun!Armadillos Gathering DrumElephants Gathering Drum   Ducks Gathering DrumArmadillosGatherinDrum    MustangsGathering Drum  Penguins Gathering Drum PenguinsGathering Drum   RocketsGathering DrumRangers Gathering Drum Seals Gathering Drum  Squirrels Gathering DrumSquirrelsGathering Drum Wranglers Gathering Drum Zebras Gathering Drum

Posted in Armadillos 14-15, Drums, Ducks 14-15, Elephants 14-15, Frogs 14-15, Instrument Play, Mustangs 14-15, Owls 14-15, Penguins 14-15, Rangers 14-15, Rockets 14-15, Seals 14-15, Squirrels 14-15, Wonderkids 14-15, Wranglers 14-15, Zebras 14-15 | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Students Share Favorite Songs

Penguins DancingAt the beginning of every school year, I ask the elementary students to share their favorite songs that they like to dance and sing to. Knowing what they like, I can incorporate them into my lesson plans for dance time or instrument play while adding other music selections to provide students a musical buffet of styles, rhythms, and genres. Movie music is always popular; especially Frozen and The Lego Movie!

Here is a complied list of their top songs and below are each classes’ individual list.

Wranglers DanceRockets Song LitWranglers Song ListSquirrels Song ListLet It Go
Do You Want to Build A Snowman
Everything Is Awesome
Gangnam Style
I Like to Move It, Move It
Pete the Cat
Moves Like Jagger
Story of My Life
Hey Brother
What Does The Fox Say?
Are You Ready For This?

Frogs Song ListWranglers DancingOwls Song ListMustangs DancingFrogs Dancing

Penguins Song LitZebras Song ListFrogs DancingMustangs Song LitRangers Song List

Posted in Frogs 14-15, Mustangs 14-15, Owls 14-15, Penguins 14-15, Rangers 14-15, Rockets 14-15, Squirrels 14-15, Wranglers 14-15, Zebras 14-15 | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Instrument Play: “Jump In the Line”

To start off the year in high spirits, students explored and played instruments to Harry Belafonte’s “Jump In The Line.” This song provides a strong beat to follow in shaking, tapping, and making music. Instruments choices were clatterpillars, guiro, maracas, egg shakers, clappers, castanets, rainstick, and rhythm sticks. Throughout the song, students were encouraged and allowed to switch instruments if they wanted to try something new.

B. Elephants Instrument Play

Instrument Play

Zebras Instrument Play












With fun calypso music to lead them, students moved their whole bodies and instruments to the rhythmic beat. Several classes were so moved that they marched or danced around the room while playing instruments. They made their own parade with a march leader and encouraged all their friends to follow. The green steps became a stage and students collaborated to play together. One class loved the novelty of trying a new instrument and they all traded almost immediately with their peers to play every instrument. It was a great way to start the year in exploring sounds, sharing, and experimenting with fun instruments!

J. Elephants Instrument Play

Rangers Instrument PlayOwls Instrument PlayMustangs Instrument PlayRockets INstrument PlayArmadillos Instrument PlaySquirrels Instrument PlayWranglers Instrument Play

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