Yes, I am a child of the eighties.

dance inquiry pupI am also at a school with no dance in the curriculum, and I gather that many PYP music teachers are in similar situations. And whether or not there is a qualified dance teacher, the S&S for dance must be covered. I don’t know about you, but since my subject was closest, the responsibility seemed to fall on me. I’m not going to complain about it. I love to dance, and I firmly believe that—like in much of West African musical culture—dance and music are (often) inseparable.

I tackled it explicitly as part of my Grade 2 curriculum, and from a musical perspective. The focus seemed obvious, and I started off with this essential question:

What are the elements we can hear in music, and how can we reflect the range, or the changes, in those elements through our movements?

This began a great discussion about the elements of music, and a convenient opportunity to review and introduce the basic building blocks of music. A couple lessons later, we moved this into the movement aspect. I asked the students to complete three sentences.

  • I can move my _______.
  • I can move like a _______.
  • I can show that the music is _______.

dance inquiry in pyp musicThe students came up with some really creative ideas, and they had so many ideas that they kept asking if they could write more than one. In the end, we came out with a great display of the many ways we could express what we hear through dance. And when we improvised and choreographed our own dances later, no one was short of ideas!

Do you incorporate dance as a formal element of your music programme? And if you do, how do you distinguish between “movement” and “dance”?

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I Wanna Dance with Somebody!
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