NAfME Eastern Division Conference, part 2

Here is the summary of other workshops I attended.

A concert!
I was treated to a concert by the North Pennsylvania High School Band and the Westfield Academy McClurg Street String band for lunch. The talent shown by these students was incredible. They kept me entertained the entire lunch hour.

Ride the Wave – Sound Science Experiments for Music Classrooms – This was a fun class taught by husband and wife team – Lorraine and Paul McLaughlin. They brought in so many simple homemade items that can be used to teach children the elements of sound and energy. My favorite was moving a ping pong ball from one cup to another with only your breath. It took me some time to learn, but I impressed myself. They also talked about tuning forks, which I have and need to play with a bit more.

Improvisation in the Early Childhood Music Classroom – This seminar was led by Gina Costanza, a music teacher with the New York City Department of Education. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but Gina introduced us to the use of jazz in the classroom. We practiced songs backed by the jazz tracks of Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald. By modifying the song’s lyrics to a subject that students could understand, and using puppets that students could choose to represent animals, we learned how both movement and song could teach young children so much!

Is this Music of PE? Supporting Motor Development through MusikingAshley Moss Fox, a vocal and instrumental music teacher in the Rochester, NY school district, talked to us about developmental milestones and how some of those milestones could be met through musical activities. From the start of the seminar, she had us balancing bean bags on our shoulders while we moved various parts of our bodies in rhythm with the beat. She also talked about the challenge students have of moving from simple beats to more complex ones and from moving from walking to skipping and hopping. Each skill requires a certain pre-requisite that students needed to accomplish to move on to the more complex movements. I had not thought about the advancing complexities of skipping and hopping as milestones, but each could be taught within a music classroom.

Continue to part 3!

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