Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December Favorite Activities

December is CRAZY, isn't it?  So much going on, so little time.. etc.  I have two concerts that turn into four as the little kiddos come to watch the bigger ones and vice versa, then the concerts for the parents.  We call them "Holiday Concerts" but I am very careful to be inclusive and not exclusive about singing songs from various perspective.  Tricky, tricky! So, December is always extra busy with these concerts and sometimes, like this year, our final concert is the day before the Holiday Break, so I don't have too much time for other activities.  But I try to sneak in a few between rehearsing music.
Of course, I love the Nutcracker, so it goes without saying that it is a piece of music I love to have students get into.  Sometimes we watch segments of the Nutcracker "The Motion Picture" version (sets designed by Maurice Sendak of "Where the Wild Things Are" fame).  I almost always have students perform Trepak in a variety of ways, either using the Bucket Drum Activity: or using Artie Almeida's excellent resource, "Parachutes and Ribbons and Scarves, Oh My!".  There is an AWESOME parachute activity my fourth graders BEG to do again and again in there on page 47 that goes with Trepak!  Artie also has a ribbon wand activity to Trepak in the book.
In the same book there is a paper plate activity (great for the littler musicians) to the Nutcracker March as well as a candy cane dance and a stretchy band activity to the same piece.
An easily accessible song about Snowflakes with Orff accompaniment (very simple) is here: (original post).  Here is the song:

Another activity we use is the Elf on the Shelf piece I wrote last year.. dreamed it, actually.. original post here:

Whatever you choose to do this season, keep 'em singing and keep 'em moving!  :)
Blessings and Merry Christmas!