STEAMed Magazine July 2015 - Page 12

in” a crescendo/decrescendo drawing with water drops and place the lightning cut-out at the correct spot. This acts as a visual reminder or music map for the classroom. Discussion could then include which season has more rain, what the consequences are of increased/decreased rainfall, etc. 1. Rolling hands while making a sign language “w” 2. Show #4 with sign language 3. Repeat 4. Puffy clouds above head, rain down hands, show waves, hands move upward 5. Play a recording of “Ode to Joy” while doing the movements. Most often, at least a few of the kids recognize the tune. So why not just sing it straight away? Because according to Eric Jensen (2000), “Several repeated actions or hand motions accompanying the song further enhance the learning by providing a reflexive response, which acts as a trigger for the associative cortex” (p. 85). Then add the text to the motions. I tell the students that Beethoven was a very “stormy” composer. This leads to a short investigation of why this musical genius was stormy. “Why do you think he would be full of thunder and lightning?” Then I silently show hand movements for the “Water Cycle” song by Beethoven with an invitation to join, followed by these steps: “Water Cycle, Water Cycle, 4 parts to our water dance (repeat) Condensation, precipitation, accumulation, evaporate.” Play the “Ode to Joy” melody allowing kids to sing this simple, singable, yet incredible melody. 12