Singing About the Seasons

by Michael Porter
On December 9, our second graders performed Sing a Season Song, a new show in the JCDS repertoire. The program included singing, dancing, and playing instruments.
The words in the show came from a book of poetry by Jane Yolen. Most of the movement and instrumental ostinatos (repeated patterns) were created by the students during their Music Class.
"We started with the basic song, and students helped decide what happens next," said Music Specialist Jessica Barker.
This particular show was created to coincide with the students' science curriculum, as they have been studying about the seasons.
Ms. Barker explained how the show was created from scratch using the Orff Schulwerk pedagogy, which is designed around the idea that every child can create beautiful music. The Orff Schulwerk is child-centered and inspired by children's natural ability to play. It builds musicianship through the combination of music, speech, drama, and movement. Students were solicited for ideas and suggestions throughout the composition process.

Ms. Barker recalled that on dress rehearsal day, there was a problem with the cue cards. They were completely out of order!
"Fortunately, the children were absolute professionals and took the show must go on approach," she said. "As they hear frequently in the Music Room, mistakes are okay as long as you are learning."
At the end of rehearsal, they all had a good laugh about how the cards were out of order remembering that rehearsals are all about working out the trouble spots in your show, no matter how big or how large.

"I appreciate the grace of our students," Ms. Barker said. "It was a fun week, and performance day was a huge success and was well-received by the family members who attended.
"The hardest thing was remembering the lines," said David S. "It's like you're waiting and waiting and you really want to do it."
Second grader Ava was proud of the performance. She said her parents described the show as "amazing awesome!"