In a tightly packed room filled with families seated in tiny, elementary school chairs, the Grimes Pre-K class took the stage to show off their skills.
“They’re so excited to sing for you,” music teacher Kathy Blackwood told the group.
And sing they did. Starting with a welcome song and ending with “Pre-K Had Me Blast” (sang to the tune of Summer Lovin’ from Grease), the kids entertained all. Some kids were also called to the front to demonstrate the instruments they had learned to play throughout the year: boomwhackers, rhythm sticks, drums, and xylophones.
“We worked really hard to learn how to keep a steady beat,” said Ms. Blackwood. “That’s really important. If they can keep the beat that gives them a sense of rhythm that they can carry on through kindergarten and the rest of the years they take music. This is just the beginning of their music education.”
She said learning how to keep a beat also helps with body awareness, and music and rhythm as a whole can help with math and other subjects.
“We’ve also used stories in which we play instruments or learn low and high,” said Ms. Blackwood. “I told the ice cream story and every time there was a part of adding another ice cream scoop, they go ‘mmm…mmm’ to go from low to high.”
She said they use yarn to make string compositions to show high and low sounds. Then, they sing each other’s creations. Ms. Blackwood also uses dancing and games to further enhance the music program. The kids love it.
“She talks about it every day coming home from school, having a good time and learning songs,” said Shanaia Richardson, whose daughter, Journey, performed in the show. They both like being at Grimes.
“I like the small atmosphere of a small-town school in the middle of the big city,” said Shanaia.
Music is just one of the ways Pre-K students are getting a head start on their education. It is an important introduction into a school setting, learning everything from letters and numbers to how to socialize with their peers. They even learn basics like how to follow a line – something Ms. Blackwood teaches with the help of Rimsky’s Kosakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee.
“I told them bees followed the leader, and they were to follow the leader – that was me,” she said. “So, we just meandered around the room learning how to follow a line with our Buzzy Bee pictures.”
It may seem simple, but for these Pre-K students programs like this are giving them the tools they need to be successful in school – and having a lot of fun in the process. To enroll your child into Pre-K so they can take advantage of these enrichment opportunities, please click here.