Elizabeth (3V) Scott (1M) and Matthew (Pre-K B) Wager rewrote the lyrics to the Winter Concert Finale song “When the Lights All Shine” by Teresa Jennings in December. This morning, they delighted us by singing the over 20 New Jersey city names they incorporated in the song. The Wager Family has been rehearsing on their free time since January. Today the Brookside Community joined “The Wager Trio” in singing the chorus. Mrs. Smith was thrilled to be able to highlight the songwriters and hope that other students will create songs for us to sing in the future.
The Primary school held its annual art show on Wednesday, featuring student's artwork from Pre-K to 3rd grade. Students had a chance to preview the show during the day with their classrooms, and then return with friends and family for the evening event. The gymnasium was converted into a beautiful gallery space full of energy and color.
Christy Burke, Savannah’s Mom came in to lead 2 sessions of African drumming with Pre-K. Christy and Savannah had their own djembe's and Mrs. Smith collected large coffee cans that the students learned how to play on. Eventually, they will decorate them. We also used some of the rhythm instruments from the music room. It was very interesting and fun.
Brookside is gearing up for the Spring Concert on Friday, April 12 at 8:30 am. All Primary School students will be performing vocal pieces celebrating diversity and global experiences. The program will open with The Third Grade Bellringers accompanying the opening exercises and all the students will sing an inspiring song “We All Sing With the Same Voice”. The rest of the selections represent places around the world such as Japan, Slovakia, Argentina, Latin America, France, Spain, North and South America, Fiji, Holland, New Zealand, China, Nigeria, Austrailia, Samoa and India. The students are very excited and we looking forward to experiencing their hard work!
On the first day back from spring break, second grade artists worked with clay. They revisited hand building techniques introduced in first grade, this time adding an exciting new step to the sequence. Once they molded their pinch pots, students were encouraged to add animal features to their pot. They learned how to attach clay elements using the slip and score technique. We can't wait to see how these exciting creations turn out.
Last week, an mp3 of “This is My Country” was included in the bulletin. The Brookside students will be singing that at the Spring Concert with the Third Grade Bellringers. They will also be raising their voices to sing ”God Bless America”, accompanied by the Second Grade Bellringers. An mp3 is attached for your student to sing a long and give you a preview of what they will be singing on Friday, April 12.
“America the Beautiful” is the most requested song to sing in music class at Brookside. Mrs. Smith was delighted that not only was America’s National Anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner” flawlessly performed before the Super Bowl by the ‘Empress of Soul’ Gladys Knight, but that Sisters Chloe x Halle gave an emotional and riveting performance of “America, the Beautiful”. We are so proud that our Primary Students sing these Patriotic classics on a regular basis, and perform them accompanied by our Brookside Bellringers at concerts and assemblies, sometimes with harmony and counterpoint melodies.
The Kindergarten classes did a stupendous job learning to do the Virginia Reel in their classes this week! First, each student chose a partner. Then they sat on a square across from each other. Each partner took a turn galloping back and forth between the rest of the students to the musical phrase "come my love and go with me, Little Liza Jane". Then they led their respective lines toward the outside of the lines and met at the end to make a bridge. The next partners led the line under the bridge and back to the beginning, so that they could take their turn. If it sounds complicated, it is, and the students not only mastered the moves, but they also sang heartily to the song. This is a great achievement in preparing for their class play. They will be experienced in moving while singing, so that Ms. Weaver might be able to choreograph a dance to enhance the story of their musical. A great time was had by all and Mrs. Smith is very proud of all of the Kindergarten musicians!
We are so excited to be back at school where we are reconnecting with old friends and getting to know new friends. Taking the time to get to know our new friends is a priority at the Primary School. We would like to share some ways in which the Fine & Performing Arts teachers create opportunities within our classrooms get to know your children.
In Art, Pre-K artists draw pictures of something that they want to share from their summer. It might be a walk on the beach or a visit to the ice-cream store. We make time to reflect and share our drawings with the group, make connections, and ask our new friends questions. We talk about mistakes and share our strategies that we use in art to allow mistakes to happen. Each student has the opportunity to talk about what it feels like to make mistakes and how art can be a place for exploration and discovery. - Jocelyn Fine, Visual Art
In Music, we sing to each other "Hello, Jason" (for example) and “Jason” responds, “Hello, Mrs. Smith". Each child is greeted individually this way, and we begin to practice matching varying pitches as we sing and greet each other. We sing other songs with movements and include the names of each individual student throughout the songs. I also ask that the children go home and sing to you and teach you a song they have learned. When I see them next, I make connections with each student as we chat about how well you did learning the song! - Jane Smith, Music
In Dance class, we do a "greeting dance". We freely move around the room and then freeze as we shake a pinky and look into each other’s eyes. Then we try to remember what color eyes we saw. We also just try out our feet and see who has skipping, galloping, jumping or hopping feet. We talk about how everyone is different and that our feet will grow and change when they are ready to do so. We are just beginning to explore why we dance. Each student has the chance to share something about how they feel about dancing and taking a risk. We also talk about mistakes as a great path to learning something new. The Dance Studio has a special atmosphere where students forget their worries and let the music guide them to new discoveries. - Kristen Weaver, Dance