by Christie Pavey, TCS Latin Teacher
Thirty years ago in an old white house in Indianapolis, there was a little girl with curly blonde hair singing and dancing to her new favorite Christmas song, Mele Kalikimaka (as sung by Bing Crosby). She listened to that song over and over again, constantly turning back her plastic record to hear it yet one more time. She even had fun hand motions—when the palm trees sway. The words sounded really fun to her, and she liked saying them, especially as they seemed to be said in a sing-song way. As a preschooler, she didn’t understand that those fun words were a different language—in fact, the first words she would learn in a language besides English. She also didn’t yet know that later she would go on to learn more languages, even teaching one of them...and that eventually she would move to the place where Mele Kalikimaka was ‘the thing to say’.
As I close out my first semester at TCS, and spend my first Christmas in the land of rainbows, I cannot help but reflect on how I have been led to this place. My first non-Anglophone phrase was Hawaiian, and even from that young age, I was already entranced by palm trees, sand, and the warm, shining sun. Now, God has brought me to the place where palm trees sway, where the sun shines bright, and where everyone says Mele Kalikimaka!
Did you get to see our students perform at our K-12 Christmas Concert and today's Preschool Christmas Program? Watch them below!
Preschool Christmas Program
K-12 Christmas Program
Written by Claire Butin, Elementary Music Teacher
Music is a powerful learning tool in classical education. In the grammar stage, students learn how to use their God-given voices in the very best way, the basics of music theory, the beginning stages of music reading and instrumental performance, and an appreciation for many classical masterpieces of music. Music can bring joy and change hearts, and it is important to give each child this gift.
In kindergarten and first grade, we learn to sing with solfege and solfege hand signs for the different scale degrees. The hand signals help the students get the feeling of the notes into their bodies and to firmly establish pitch relationships. These hand signs are internationally used.
Instrumental performance is an important part of music education. Even at a young age, children are developing self-control, teamwork, rhythm reading, stage presence, musical expression, and having fun through playing simple percussion instruments such as rhythm sticks and maracas.
The elements of music are also taught in a classical way: through songs and jingles!
Each month, the students study a different composer. Though Vivaldi did not write any words for his masterpiece, “The Four Seasons,” we have added a few. By having the children sing these classic melodies with some added words, it helps them remember the composer, which part of the piece they are listening to, and what mood the composer was trying to convey.
Body percussion is a fun way to have students grasp harder rhythmic concepts.