Performing with Joy

by Sheila Malcolm, Music Teacher

When it comes to my youngest students, musical performances are much more about showcasing their joyful exuberance than achieving a “perfect” show. And that joy is what parents saw last week during our Primary School spiral unit performance, “Let’s Go to the Zoo.” It was a true reflection of what the children learned in class, rather than a staged show. My aim was to create a safe and fun environment in which even the shyest of children felt comfortable.

Our performance reflected the culmination of a month-long study of age-appropriate, zoo-themed activities undertaken by each Primary School grade across subjects, including P.E., Spanish, technology, library, and of course, music. It represented a genuine team effort, not only from the faculty, but also from the children as they learned how important it was to work together, be considerate of others, and always strive to do their best in order to make their performance successful.

The songs and movement activities were chosen with great care to ensure they were age-appropriate and enjoyable for the children. There were lions roaring, kangaroos hopping, penguins waddling, elephants trumpeting, and monkeys playing, just to name a few. The songs were also linked to their classroom studies. For example, the junior kindergarten classes learned about how the welfare and well-being of the animals was important, so one of their songs was about the training requirements and work responsibilities of a zoo veterinarian. The kindergarten classes learned about how zoos help endangered species, so one of their songs was about the gorilla. They also learned how to differentiate between a monkey and an ape.

Musically, much of what was seen on stage was a direct reflection of skills the children had learned in music class. They played their instruments to a steady beat, used dynamics in the songs, learned about verse and refrain, focused on keeping together by listening to others, learned to recognize and listen for phrases in music, and learned how to count beats and listen to musical cues for their choreography and dances.

Performing in front of an audience, no matter how scary for some, helps build the confidence our students will need to flourish in the wider world. We’ll see this growing confidence on display on stage in the coming weeks as our first-graders take us Down Under to Australia, our second-graders give their “Coming to America” performance, and our Middle Schoolers present the musical, “Willy Wonka.”

The Langley School: Curtain Calls Through the Decades…

By Elena Meschieri, Director of Web and Social Media

“It’s not just a Middle School play!” This is what I said to my friend last week when I told her about The Langley School’s latest drama production, “It’s All Greek to Me.” This play is the most recent installment in a long-standing tradition of high-quality performances here at The Langley School.

Every year, the young cast surprises the audience with their talent and dedication to the art. The Middle School play is the perfect example of collaboration, dedication, and unending creativity. More than 50 students work together, each of them playing an important role, to ensure that the props, costumes, makeup, music, and lighting are all perfectly coordinated. The cast then dedicates countless hours memorizing each line to perfection and practicing their roles so the audience can not only enjoy the play, but feel like they are a part of the story.

I invite you to take a trip down memory lane and enjoy some of The Langley School’s past Middle School productions. View the video:

 

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