After years of working with students, I have found the immense value of adding music to children’s shows, especially when it is their own music. Students seem exponentially more interested and excited about singing and dancing to their own songs. In addition to adding music, dance and movement are equally helpful.
In our class at the St. Vincent de Paul Center, the students wrote their own lyrics. We worked with a composer to notate some melodic ideas they thought of during the process. The songs came back slightly altered and perhaps a bit un-intuitive for the kids to sing. As we were practicing, the students were having a hard time remembering rhythms in some of the parts, mainly when extra rests were added.
The last class at St. Vincent de Paul, worked on putting their own choreography to the songs they wrote. The improvement in their rhythmic timing was ‘night and day’. When the students had actions to correlate with the rests, they never forgot to wait and rest!
Dancing and creating music helps students feel the beat and music with a flow and consistent meter. Dancing keeps kids active, helps them burn that extra energy and maintains their focus.
So, we are excited to have our choreographer, Amanda Compton, visit for the next two classes in April, and continue our own student choreography!