In Kindergarten music class, one of the goals is to begin to help the students match vocal tones sung to them by the teacher. One of the little exercises I am using this year is to sing the child’s name and then sing , in a sing-songy question to which I have already demonstrated a muscial response….Susie, what are you thankful for? All this on a 3-note melody line. Then, as having demonstrated to the students, their response would be …”I’m thankful for___.” [etc].
The amazing thing about this little musical exercise is not so much that many of the students in kindergarten can match pitches, but the nature of their responses.
They respond that they are thankful for “my family; my friends; my grandma; my house; my parents; my little brother (or sister); my school.” Once in a while I will get “my church” Several will sing, “for God”.
But as I go up the grades from Kindergarten through 1st grade and into 2nd grade….the responses become quite different. The older the student, maybe more “sophisticated, perhaps” the more they sing that they are thankful for THINGS. “ My bicycle, video games, electronic gadgets; They still sing my mom & dad or my parents, etc. but not as much as the little ones, who have just started school a mere ten weeks ago or so.
I always encourage them to continue to be grateful and thankful for their families and those that love and care for them. And for a God that loves them. Usually, the little ones take it from there and preach to one another. And for that I AM THANKFUL!
MG Henry, Fairfax County Music Teacher