My fellow music teachers, have you been attacked yet by that creeping anxiousness that seems to sprout up at the beginning of August? I can vividly remember the many doubts and questions that would come to my mind as I contemplated the letter of invitation to join the school staff for pre-planning each year. Was I prepared to set up my equipment, organize the materials for a new year, get over staff complications from the last year, and offer positive input on duties and scheduling? Of course, the list goes on and on! Then there was also the minor detail that in one week's time, I would be presenting seven or eight fifty-minute lessons to children ages 4 - 12 each day. Though I am no longer employed by the public school system, I can still get anxious just remembering all of the elements that went into starting a new school year!
Having great lessons to share with my students was one of the best ways I had to combat anxiousness as the new year began. I suppose most veteran teachers have a supply of proven "getting back to business" lessons from which to draw. Rather than use a large number of words this month, I have decided to publish an effective "back to school" lesson in Brad's Beat as an offering for you and your students. All of us appreciate a friendly invitation to belong. "Ev'rybody's Welcome" presents a multicultural invitation to join in the fun of making music while playing instruments. I used this folk song for many years before publishing the version included in this month's blog. The video lesson demonstrates some of my earliest successful attempts to use animation as a motivator for learning to sing and play. Though the focus group of this lesson was second and third grade children, my fourth and fifth grade students would often ask to play and perform the song. We used this arrangement several times for our "back to school" PTO programs.
I invite you to download the video lesson provided below and use this motivating song with your students as you start your new year. A useful technique when using animations is to pause, rewind, and rehearse each section before moving on to the next. Perfect for Primaries (BB207) offers eight similar support lessons for K - 3. For Intermediate players, I suggest Instant Intermediates (BB208), eight classroom lessons for singing and playing instruments for 3rd - 5th grade students.
"Ev'rybody's Welcome" from PERFECT FOR PRIMARIES (BB207)
If you would like to use the performance track for "Everybody's Welcome" use the link below to download the audio file in mp3 format.
The following link will download a pdf of the score for vocals and instruments.
That's "Brad's Beat" for August, 2016. Remember to clear those anxious thoughts by preparing great lessons! Don't hesitate to call on us at RBI for your classroom needs as you start this new teaching year. We share your passion for helping the children of the world learn to express themselves through their experiences with music!