A few months ago I was asked to take on a new teaching adventure for part of the summer. For this adventure I'll be on staff for Kids On Campus. Kids On Campus is a week-long camp that takes place on Franklin College’s campus. The camp has nine different areas of academic focus for students in grades 1 through 8.
I have tons of experience working with students in grades 6 through 8, a little bit of experience in grade 5, and almost none in grades 1-4. I have to go back to my college days when I would visit elementary classrooms for observations and small activities I had planned. That is a bit intimidating! I feel a little bit like Arnold Schwarzenneger from Kindergarten Cop.
What is going to be fun about this experience though is that I’m going to learn a lot about myself as a teacher, my patience in younger students, and how to better connect with this age group in the future. For several years I have worked with high school and college aged students in the summer to achieve musical standards at the highest possible level. Even though I still plan on doing that, I am also excited to share the beginning stages of musical development with students. Most of the kids I connect with might be experiencing music for the first time. Some might be ready to engage in percussion at a higher level. Most importantly, I hope that all of them leave with a newfound interest in music and percussion!
I will be teaching three classes, twice a day, from June 26-30. Below are the musical projects I will be engaging in with the students of Kids On Campus at Franklin College.
Buckets of Fun
For a few years now I have had the opportunity to perform with the Circle City Bucket Drummers in Indianapolis. The CCBD plays at all Colts home games and is available for hire in the Indianapolis area. What I’ve learned about drumming through this group is how fun the sounds created on buckets can be. I plan to show students a glimpse in to the varying sounds created, how to solo, and how to follow a call-and-response format. The focus of this class will be on developing each student's aural skills. The students will also be encouraged to show artistic creation of rhythms and patterns.
Shake, Shake, Shake
To get the younger students started I thought it would be fun to keep them engaged in an art project. In this project the students will be encouraged to pick different materials to put in their soon-to-be shaker. I will show them examples that I have created to give them some inspiration. My plan is to show the students how the materials used can drastically change the sound that is created. To make the class more interactive we will watch some videos and listen to music where various forms of shakers are used. I will also have some basic art supplies available for the kids to decorate their shakers. Then we will shake the blues away to some popular music! I plan to teach the students how to hold a basic pulse and how to have fun playing this simple instrument.
Stompin’ Through Summer
This class was designed through the Broadway musical group Stomp. I wanted to find new and interesting ways to engage students in percussion. I want to open the session by showing the students videos of Stomp and the various household instruments that they use in their production. I will then show students some examples of this in my own performance. Then I’ll encourage students to bring a household item of their choice to another session so they can show off what unique item they have found and how it should be utilized. Once we have found our creative instruments, I plan to organize an easy piece of music that we can play a long with some call-and-response exercises.
Interested in having your child involved?
If you are interested in having your son or daughter involved in Kids On Campus, follow this link HERE for registration information. Camp dates are June 26-30 and the daily schedule is listed above.