Rhythm and Movement at the ECC
The Early Childhood Campus is alive – with the sound of music! And serving as lead conductor is Amanda Lang, the ECC music teacher for all of the students ages two through kindergarten.
Every Monday, Mrs. Lang spends the day at the ECC, where she travels from classroom to classroom, starting first thing in the morning right up to dismissal time. Mrs. Lang’s goal for all of the students is that “They are able to have as many musical experiences as possible.” To do this, she introduces “them to different styles of music and has various activities so that they can engage with music in different ways.” This year, the students have focused mainly on the following activities:
- Pitch Exploration (Vocal Warm-ups)
- Fragment Singing (Echo Songs /Call and Response Songs)
- Simple Songs
- Arioso (Child created tunes)
- Songtales (songs that tell stories)
- Movement: for Exploration and for Form and Expression, and Movement with the Beat
- Instrument exploration
Mrs. Lang primarily uses the "First Steps in Music for Preschool and Beyond" curriculum developed by Dr. John Feierabend. This curriculum inspires children to become musical in three ways: by being tuneful - to have tunes in their heads and learn to coordinate their voices to sing those tunes; beatful – to feel the pulse of music and how that pulse is grouped in either 2s or 3s; and artful – to be moved by music in the many ways music can elicit a feelingful response.
In addition to the curriculum, Mrs. Lang has brought in a variety of instruments so the children have been able to get hands-on experience. Popular with the students this year were the famous and funny-sounding didgeridoo, dijembe drums, handbells and various non-pitched instruments such as shakers and tambourines. She also brought in a floor piano for the kids to use – and for their parents to reminisce about that famous scene from the movie Big!
The children also created their own STOMP group, using non-traditional items as instruments, such as pool noodles for "beat sabers" and "ponies" for movement and rhythm exploration.
All ECC students showcased their musical talents at two events this year – the International Fair and Carnival at the Bearss Avenue Campus in October, and at the Grandparents’ Days at the ECC in February. PreK 4 and Kindergarten both will end their years with performances on the theatre stage at the “big” campus.
This has been a fun year not only for the students, but for Mrs. Lang as well. “I think the kids have had a lot of fun singing and playing instruments. I am especially proud of how well PreK 3 has been able to distinguish pitch and even play ‘Hot Cross Buns’ on the handbells. PreK4 did a great job with their International Fair song of ‘Crunchy Leaves,’ while Toddlers did especially well singing in both English and Spanish as well as doing movement to the beat. Kindergarten learned basic notation of quarter notes and was able to follow simple written music for their song ‘Funga Alafia.’"
Mrs. Lang has even bigger plans for next year. “It’s been a great year. I’m excited to incorporate the IB units of inquiry more into our music classes next year and front load each unit with some meaningful songs, especially with kindergarten.”
We hope you enjoy watching our ECC musicians honing their craft!