Classic Children’s Poems for Spring

Classic Children's Poems for Spring Here is a trio of classic children's poems that can make beautiful little studies for classes in music and/or dance. You could focus on the rhythms, create a movement study with students, or lead them to sing the verses with melody or to add a percussion accompaniment. Or, why not [...]

By |2019-05-11T16:29:35-04:00May 11, 2019|0 Comments

The Turkey Trot

Was the Turkey Trot a scandal because of the actual movements of the dance, or was the shock a rejection of African-American dance and music coming into white ballrooms?

By |2018-11-02T22:40:17-04:00November 26, 2017|0 Comments

Roses in Winter – An Art Song Unearthed

Roses in Winter You might not agree that this little art song is anything special, but it captivated me. “Roses in Winter” is another result of my internet archeology via IMSLP. Composed by Arthur Foote on a poem by Philip Bourke Marston, it's a piece I can't find a recording of anywhere -- which makes it more [...]

By |2018-06-18T13:51:21-04:00January 9, 2016|0 Comments

Floor Pattern “in 10” from Elizabeth Walton

About Elizabeth Walton Elizabeth Walton and Paul Taylor making "Paul Taylor: The Man Behind the Dance" (Photo: UMBC New Media Studio) I’ve been taking Beginning Modern classes with Elizabeth Walton, Associate Professor at UMBC. I love taking beginners’ classes, in part because I get to observe how other teachers introduce concepts of movement [...]

By |2016-10-19T04:45:56-04:00November 18, 2015|0 Comments

A Piano Piece I call “Debbie Downer”

I LOVE browsing The International Music Score Library Project !! It's like rummaging through music at an antiques shop, but without the dust (well, hopefully). This little piece  (<- click for the PDF) by Finnish composer Erkki Melartin had me laughing by the second phrase. I'm not sure what he had in mind, but it reminded me of Debbie Downer (who even has her [...]

By |2015-12-04T01:39:04-05:00September 14, 2015|0 Comments

“Little Ants”

Here's a tune from 1893, adapted slightly to create a miniature solfege study for young children. The song was originally designed as a fingerplay: closed hands make the ant hill; fingers open one at a time on the numbers. It's still useful that way, especially for teaching finger numbers. As a variation, assign five children [...]

By |2015-08-29T19:39:11-04:00August 29, 2015|0 Comments


Here's another treasure from the past, found in Robert Foresman's First Book of Songs (American Book Company). Based on a German folk song, "Honeybee" uses a consistent rhythmic pattern, entirely anapestic (short-short-long). The pattern occurs within each beat in the first measure of each line, and then it's augmented to span two beats for the second [...]

By |2015-08-29T19:38:04-04:00March 9, 2015|0 Comments

March: Ten Variations for Marching

Ten Variations on "March" I like the idea of playing with the "march" in March. Children enjoy the relation of the words, and for classes that began in the Fall, the month of March is a good time to revisit this familiar movement with new variations -- particularly those exploring spatial design, and direction. Some [...]

By |2015-08-29T15:46:43-04:00March 9, 2015|0 Comments

November: Scott Joplin’s “Bethena,” A Concert Waltz

For November, here's piece from a composer with a November birthday: Scott Joplin (born November 24, 1868). "Bethena: A Concert Waltz" was the first piece he composed after the death of his young wife, Freddie Alexander. Just twenty years old, she died only ten weeks after their marriage from a cold that turned into pneumonia. [...]

By |2015-08-31T22:27:42-04:00March 9, 2015|0 Comments

Exercise from Emile Jaques-Dalcroze

Plastique Exercise from Emile Jaques-Dalcroze Originally posted October, 2006. This is an interesting exercise from Jaques-Dalcroze's "Exercices de Plastique Animee," Vol. I.1 Piano accompaniment for the melody is contained in his previous Marches Rhythmiques,2 and I'm also including that music here (with free PDF download). Let's start with the main exercise from the Plastique volume, [...]

By |2018-06-18T13:53:59-04:00March 8, 2015|0 Comments