This year in the studio we are using Key to Imaginations, A Walk on the Wild Side program. So for Christmas camp this year I really wanted to stick with the animal theme but was struggling how to combine animals with Christmas. Finally I decided that even though it had nothing to do with Christmas, I really enjoyed Carnival of the Animals and wanted to implement that in our Christmas camp program this year. I thought for sure that some of my students would be familiar with Carnival of the Animals, after all, it for sure would be in their music curriculum at school. After asking each of my students if they had heard of Carnival of the Animals and/or Camille Saint Saens, not one said that they had. On one hand I was shocked but on the other I wasn’t. A student would be considered very lucky nowadays if they had a music program at their school at all anymore. So sad.
I was able to put most of my younger students (4-6) in their own group so I would be able to have more activities that were geared for their age. For the older kids we did a lot of listening and ear training activities. They would guess the animal they were listening too, figure out the instruments that were in that piece, listen and figure out tempo, dynamics and melodic characteristics. Each student had a worksheet that they would write their answers on and then we would share our answers with each other. For the younger students that needed to be in the same group as the older kids I would have them draw what they heard. We learned more about Camille Saint Saens and also played a fun BINGO game after becoming familiar with each animal piece. I would play one of the animal tracks on the CD and they would mark on their BINGO sheet which animal it was. I always like to have a couple of crafts to do as a “break” so this year we made an animal scratch ornament and an animal sun catcher.
Now since we were at Christmas camp we had to have some Christmas activities of course! We played guess that Christmas carol rhythm (using a boomwhacker) and learned several Christmas songs with the Boomwhackers. Students also performed Christmas pieces on the piano for each other. We ended our Christmas camp with a traditional game of Name that Christmas Tune.
Here is a video featuring our Boomwhacker Christmas Carols: http://youtu.be/NScwXs5ezcM
Have yourself a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!