Gee, do I miss hearing that sound in our school music room and hallways! Singing. It’s one of the many things I miss most during Covid. Something magical happens when we sing together. My dearest childhood memories of Christmas are the times we sat around the living room, my sister Dorothy at the piano, singing Christmas carols together. Not the presents, not the Christmas cookies or decorating the tree or hanging up the lights. No, it’s the singing. Somehow we all seemed closest when we joined our voices together, tattered and worn caroling books in hand. One of my favorite things about teaching music is hearing our students sing together, working hard to stay “in tune” with each other - not just with voice, but also heart and mind.
We can’t sing in school right now, so, parents, I’m delivering a very important job into your hands. SING with your children! Sing Christmas songs with them this December! Sing lullabies. Sing along with the radio in the car. Sing your favorite songs from when you were little. Sing their favorite pop songs. It doesn’t really matter what it is, or even if you’re in tune. Fun vocal exploration helps children learn to access their higher notes (head voice) and sing more tunefully. So, Montessori parents, while you're at it, add in some train and siren sounds, owl hoots, and animal sounds of all kinds - both high and low.
Last year, our Woods Academy students learned to sing Silent Night in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. This December, Lower School students have been relearning the American Sign Language in music class. I’ve asked the students to try it out at home and sing along with their families too. Here’s a link to a tutorial video and song lyrics:
I also want to share this Family Holiday Music Kit that Alfred Music distributed. It is just another fun way to share music together . . . and it might keep a few kids busy during the long two weeks when everyone is at home together!
Sing together. The memories will last a lifetime. Wishing you a joyful, peaceful, and musical Christmas this year!