Concert preparation – visual map

It’s been a short term and a fast one. Very busy for me too – since my last post I’ve been back up to Sydney for another project, and started my new job (training young musicians in teaching-artist approaches) at a Music Academy, and taught several one-off classes up at the University, and… got really stressed trying to fit it all in!

This post is about my Lower Primary students at the Language School. About 60% of the students are new arrivals this term, so not much English among them. They’ve been a very sweet class to work with, and, responding to their teacher’s ‘theme’ of the term on health and hygiene, we have composed a song about Germs.

Here are the lyrics:

If you touch something dirty you have to wash your hands

If you paint or your draw, you have to wash your hands

Touch a cat or a dog, you have to wash your hands

If you go to the toilet you have to WASH YOUR HANDS!

(Chorus) Germs can make you sick!

Germs can be Anywhere!

You have to put soap on your hands

And the germs will go away! Yeah!

(Vocal percussion bridge)

Scrubbing… and rubbing… and shaking… and drying….

They came up with the words, I hasten to add. Their teacher has clearly indoctrinated them well – they could think of heaps more occasions where it is necessary to wash your hands. It’s quite a folksy tune that we’ve written too – I sound a bit like Patsy Biscoe on the recording I made for them to listen to in the classroom.

We have a percussion section in the song, which they play sitting down. But they sing the verse and chorus, and bridge, standing up. In last week’s lesson we tried to introduce the concept of the end-of-term concert (performance to parents and other students), and I drew the following map to explain to them the order of the different song sections, and whether they are standing or sitting for them.

1= singing (verse & chorus)

2= instruments

3= singing (verse & chorus)

4= bridge (with hand-shaking actions).

I pointed to each number and they had to do the appropriate action (stand/sit/sing/play instruments/hand-shaking actions). I played around with the order of the numbers to encourage them to read the symbols on the board. It was like a game and they loved it.

As you can see, drawing is not my forte.

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