Whether they are singing, dancing or playing instruments, students throughout the North Bellmore School District are having a blast in their general music classes.
Maritza Lopez, Carol Ng and Alexander Roff bring a passion for music that engages their students. They create topical lessons that not only teach children fundamentals but also create an appreciation for music. Their goal is for students to leave class understanding that music is purposeful and universal.
At the end of November, Ms. Lopez, began incorporating holiday songs into her music lessons at Saw Mill Road Elementary School. But it wasn’t just about teaching the notes and words, it was a culture experience. She explained that music is an important part of the traditions associated with holidays celebrated around the world.
Students learned the lyrics to “Light the Menorah” and incorporated percussion instruments in their rendition of “Feliz Navidad.” Using claves and conga drums, half of the class kept a beat while the other half sang.
Thanksgiving sparked musical opportunities in Ms. Ng’s classes at John G. Dinkelmeyer and Park Avenue elementary schools. Students learned how Native Americans used materials from nature to make their own instruments such as the bamboo flute and pan pipes. Children in the younger grade studied rhythmic patterns in turkey songs. To perform holiday music, the young musicians will get to use bells.
Mr. Roff, who teaches at Martin Avenue and Newbridge Road elementary schools, said music literacy is an important part of his classes, with students learning how to read notes and sing different scales. His fourth through sixth graders regularly play percussion instruments such as xylophones to learn different songs.
“Our students are making the most of each music class,” he said.