Well, I'm several days into teaching and my ideas and perspectives have changed a bit.
Maybe an occasional song paired with cute movements is actually refreshing for these kids. There are things I've done that really work and things I've done that, well, I'll probably never do again. Live and learn.
In second grade, we're working on our ta's and ta-ti's (yes, 'ta-ti' ... not 'ti-ti'). The other day, I saw the lightbulb go on in this little boy's head. He raised his hand to verify that what he was understanding about quarter notes and eighth notes was correct. It was right on.
In another lesson, I talked about Beethoven's 7th Symphony, 2nd movement. The basic rhythmic theme of this piece is 'ta, ta-ti, ta, ta' so it was perfect for this concept. I had them listen for the rhythm and when they finally heard it, they were excited. Some classes would start counting out loud to the music, which was so neat to hear.
I spent a lot of time talking about Beethoven that day. He is extremely significant in the development (no pun intended) of music in history. They were all, of course, intrigued by the fact that over time, he lost his hearing and eventually became deaf. I played the beginning part of the melody in the 9th Symphony and they were so interested to know that he wrote this. They really loved that he wrote, "dun dun dun duuuun," otherwise known as the 5th Symphony. While I was telling his story and a few interesting facts about him, you could've heard a pin drop. I wish I could have videotaped the expressions on their faces. One little boy even posed the question, "Did you know him?" Unfortunately, my answer was no. Trying to get those kids to understand the concept of the 1700s is pretty funny.
There are really good days and there are really bad days. Sometimes I feel very effective and sometimes I feel very clueless. But in all of that, I can rest in knowing that this is what I am purposed to do. I want these children to develop a love for and interest in music. But along with that, I want them to learn about being responsible, respectful, and productive members of society. I want them to have dreams and goals. 30 minutes per class twice a week seems almost impossible sometimes when I think about everything I want them to know. But it's what I've been given and I'll gladly take it.