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50's, 60's and 70's Dance Music for Piano Lessons

Last week I had a chance to do a Pee Wee Prime Time at our kids school, where it focuses on getting younger kids to read. The past years I've worked with the Kindergarten and 1st Graders where I'll winter music, rhythm cups, did a short play script, sing, read music related books. Yet this year I did some "crazy" idea of reading books about dancing and even taught them some basic dance steps.

I taught them the basics of the Twist, where I researched options that would work well for the younger kids. We pointed our right toe and pretended to "squash a bug", then the left toe, where I found the concept from a YouTube video that was easy to explain. Then I had the kids put their feet close together and point the same direction and go back and forth. After we worked on it, I played Chubby Checker's American Bandstand YouTube, getting the kids to dance. Throughout the song we started to twist to the ground as close as we could. The kids really liked the dance.

Then I read a books called Duck Sock Hop by Jane Kohuth and illustrated by Jane Porter, a really great story about ducks wearing socks going to a "sock hop". Both Jane's create a story that is explains why they want to dance and the affects their dancing has on the socks. This is a great book to share about dancing.

After that I showed the kids how to do the "Hand Jive", which the kids really enjoyed doing. I wondered if it would be to big, yet they did very well. From 2 knee pats, claps, right hand over left, left over right, pound right fist on left fist, pound left fist on right and then hitchhike to the right and left. I'm so proud of them and their willingness to try. Will say that we did it slow and then do the faster speed. Here a video option to show the dance, although we used the a YouTube of Johnny Otis - Willie And The Hand Jive (1958) and just kept everything simple for the K and 1st Graders.

Then I read a book called Giraffes Can't Dance, by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees, about a giraffe who is worried that he can't dance. He allows what others think convince him to not want to dance. After being humiliated by the jungle animals, Gerald talks to a cricket who explains that he needs to find the right music to get him too dance. The story ends with so much hope, where Gerald believes in what he is capable of doing. Great story and moral.

Then we ended with what everyone enjoyed, doing stomp stomp clap to We Will Rock You. The kids went wild when I told them the song and when the music came on they sang and danced their hearts out. The room was filled with such joy and elation of trying something new. Plus I was so grateful to do the "lesson" of dance to the music each person loves and always be yourself, by being unique and special.

What are some "crazy" things you do with your younger students? Would like to know. Thanks for your support. Blessings.


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