It was pouring rain with thunder and lightning storms for most of the morning. Students walked into music room and excitedly informing me that “It’s raining!” Despite the weather outside we have made the most of the day inside. I had each class sing, “If All The Raindrops” to get us in the mood of the weather.
There was a tornado warning during the Bears class! My first tornado warning at school. The class and I went into the music/drama closet for shelter and safety. In there, we sang songs, played with the flashlights, and shook our shakers. I was not sure what to expect or what to do. It was a new experience!
The Elephants, Busy-Bees, Wranglers, and Ants danced with scarves to my improvisational piano playing of scales, arpeggios, trills, and glissando with the progression C-F-G-C-Am-G-C. Their favorite was the continuous swirling of notes to twirl their scarf. Two Elephants tied it around their head and began ninjas, moving their bodies to the beat.
In the Elephants class, curiosity drove them out of dancing and over to the keyboard to watch me play where I allowed them to explore the notes. With so many students on the keyboard, I went over to the piano and played a simple C bass line improv for all nine students to keep a steady beat. We explored keys by doing walking fingers up and down the white notes. What an fun spontaneous activity!
They gave me the idea to have one or two student in a class to make the music while others danced. I tried it out in the Wranglers and Ants class. Each student was delighted to try the keyboard and played glissando with their fist and elbows, palm chords, and random one-fingered notes. There was a wide range of music and students with scarves danced to the tunes.
The students expressed themselves on the keyboard and while dancing with the scarf. Their faces lit up when they realized they were the leader of the activity, with their classmates and teachers following them. I have been thinking of ways to incorporate keyboard playing into our class music time and I am so happy that they students showed me how they wanted to do it.