STREET FAIR MOVED TO SATURDAY MAY 14TH!Click here for more info!

STREET FAIR MOVED TO SATURDAY MAY 14TH!Click here for more info!

STREET FAIR MOVED TO SATURDAY MAY 14TH!Click here for more info!

May 2022

Wed
18

8:00-9:15p: Change Starts At Home: Parenting for a More Just World with Rachel Henes

Thu
19

Small Works 31 — Art Show

Mon
30

MEMORIAL DAY — School Closed

Tue
14

Last Day of School for Children

Fri
17

Last Day of School for Staff

Mon
27

First Day of Summer Program

Mon
04

INDEPENDENCE DAY — Summer Camp Closed

Fri
29

Last Day of Summer Program

calendar calendar
From the Classroom

Musical Exploration with Evan

Hello from the WMS Music Studio!

It has been such a joy getting to sing and dance with all of your wonderful children since September! It was also so lovely to share some of our favorite songs together during the Winter Sings in December – thank you again for being such an important part of our celebration.

We’ve already learned so many exciting songs together since the start of school in September. We start each class with a ‘Hello Song’ and end with a ‘Goodbye Song’, and do lots of singing, movement, and dancing in between. I rely on the ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ songs to help create a sense of structure and predictability in the music studio – this helps to establish a baseline of comfort and familiarity for the children, which ultimately empowers them to try new and tricky things!

We’ve learned several A capella body percussion songs, such as Watermelon, Watermelon’  and ‘My Body’, to help build rhythmic awareness. We’ve had a blast freeze dancing to our version of a song called ‘Silly Dance Contest’, as well as Twist and ShoutWe’ve also learned about Ella Jenkins, also known as ‘The First Lady of the Children’s Folk Song’, with adapted versions of her songs, ‘Who Fed the Chickens’ and I Love to Ride. In the spirit of Autumn, we sang ‘All of the Leaves’ and In My Pumpkin’.

We also explored a unique musical genre called, ‘Boogaloo’, that was born in Spanish Harlem in the 1960’s, combining African American R&B and soul music with elements of the salsa and mambo styles of Puerto and Rico and Cuba. We listened and moved to the original recordings of the songs, ‘Do You Dig It?’ and ‘New York Soul’by the legendary Boogaloo percussionist, Ray Barretto, and we learned about some of the prominent instruments utilized, including congas, bongos, the cowbell, bass guitar, and piano.

Later in November and through December, in addition to preparing for our Winter sings, we also explored some amazing music from the vast and diverse continent of Asia. We listened and danced along to a recording of a song from south India, called Dhe Dhe’, which prominently features a large two-headed drum called a Dhol (or ‘Dholak’) along with lots of lively singing. We’ll also learned a song from further north in India, in time for Diwali, called ‘Pahan Chunariya’which celebrates the holiday with lyrics in Hindi and English. Soon after, we explored Japan, focusing on Taiko drumming with a song called, Okina Taiko’ – in this song we tapped on our knees, pretending to make the sound of the big drum (‘okina’), and clapped our hands to make the sound of the smaller drum (‘chisana’). 

As of late, we’ve been enjoying tapping on our laps to ‘Merle the Squirrel’ – a playful original song aimed at developing coordination and hand independence, which are skills that underpin virtually all instrument playing. We are also having a blast marching like Dinos to ‘We are the Dinosaurs’, dancing like different aquatic animals to ‘All of the Fish’singing about yummy, yummy Hot Chocolate, and working together to help the very cold penguin in the song  ‘Frozen Penguin’ find some warm winter clothes to wear!

In the coming weeks, we will begin an exciting project called ‘Music in our Community’. During the children’s music classes, I will begin to share your digital submissions (photos, videos, songs etc.) that help to illuminate a bit more about your child’s and/or family’s personal ‘music stories’. In case you missed the note that went out about the project, here it is! Thank you so much to all that submitted digital materials already – if you would still like to share, please email musicproject@wms-nyc.org

I am so grateful for you all in trusting us with your children during this unprecedented time in history. Your flexibility and support are integral to the beautiful strength of our school community, and I feel so very fortune to get to share in the joy of music making together each day. Above all else, my hope is that our music classes offer your children a sense of belonging, connection, and a safe place to explore and express who they are

Please also feel free to visit our new Music Studio Portal for a running list of songs/recordings from the music studio! Feel free to bookmark or favorite it for easy access. I’ll be adding to list throughout the remainder of the school year, as new music is introduced 🙂

Looking forward to many more musical explorations ahead!

– Evan

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