Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year making memories with their families! We had a great time celebrating with family.
Today I want to share some ideas for listening lessons to enjoy all throughout the month of January! If you are unfamiliar with listening lessons, you can check out this post I did on the Nutcracker or my series of posts on the Carnival of the Animals.
You can choose something specific you would like to focus on in the music, like steady beat or the mood of a piece of music. It can be very relaxing for children to listen to the music without any previous knowledge of the piece and draw a picture to reflect what they are hearing. I was always surprised by the creative drawings students would draw during music.
Song Suggestions for January
- Gong Xi, a Chinese New Year song
- The Skater’s Waltz, by Emile Waldteufel
- Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
- Sleigh Ride, by Leroy Anderson
- music from a composer of the month
Gong Xi is a perfect way to discuss the Chinese New Year. One of my favorite sellers on teachers pay teachers, Aileen Miracle, created a set filled with music to go along with the Chinese New Year.
The Skater’s Waltz is a really fun listening lesson. In the classroom with my students, we would pretend to ice skate as we listened to the music. You could try that with your children, or in a preschool group. If you have scarves, you can create movements with scarves to imitate the music.
Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is a great way to talk about what makes each season unique. You can play samples from each season to compare and contrast the sounds, too!
Sleigh Ride might seem like an unusual pick for January, since it’s often played throughout the Christmas season, but it’s actually not a Christmas song. Leroy Anderson began composing the piece during the summer time! It’s supposed to create the feel of being on a sleigh ride as you listen to the music. Here’s a listening activity to try with your children. See if your children can hear the jingle bells and the sound of the horse at the end of the piece!
Choose a composer of the month for January and pick a different piece to listen to each week! There are many resources online to go along with composer of the month lessons, like this one for Beethoven.
For a free listening resource, be sure to check out this squilt listening form from homegrown learners!
I hope this gives you some inspiration for ways to experience music this month!