Events like Lausannia and Grandparent's Day have showcased our Lower School students' harmonies for years. But with the pandemic, encouraging the musical abilities of Lower School Lynx became much more challenging.
However, thanks to some creative ideas from Tara West, the Lower School is finding their beat again.
To limit possible cross-transmission, Ms. West has been moving from classroom to classroom each day. The Lower School teacher also brings musical instruments with her, that students sanitize before and after each use, to continue advancing their understanding and making of music.
"Going to classrooms to teach music had given me a whole new perspective on music education," said Ms. West. "I'm adjusting my teaching process to allow students to experience music in ways they never did before."
As her second-graders begin to learn sight-reading and singing, Ms. West has been hauling boom whackers to class with her to allow students to play along with the music. She has also started to integrate technology into the lesson through iPads and laptops to help students visualize the music and notes they are practicing and learning.
"I love listening to the beat and playing along to the music with the boom whackers," said Zaria Jackson '31.
Because of their music teacher's effort, the Lower School students have acclimated well to their new environment. Implementing technology at an early age at Lausanne has also helped students and teachers, making it easier for them to navigate the resources they use in music class.
"In the past, I focused more on putting traditional music making instruments in the kids hands, but over the summer when I was preparing for the new year I realized that electronic instruments and music technology really permeate their lives in so many ways," said Ms. West. "I felt this might be the perfect opportunity to explore and integrate age appropriate tech with music.
This approach to tech begins in our Lower School. In addition to our 2-1 student to computer ratio, our youngest students benefit from academic classes that utilize technology to differentiate instruction by skill level and modalities.
"Music technology had been an interest of mine that I've incorporated in different ways in the classroom and I'm glad to be able to fully integrate it to the music classroom," said Ms. West. "I look forward to the day we will return to the music room, but I will continue to use music technology and electronic music as a teaching tool."
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