Music in Motion

Music can have a very powerful effect on our bodies. We tap our feet, nod our heads, drum our fingers, sway, leap, twirl, stomp, flex, and wave our hands in time to its pulse. Even in the rarefied atmosphere of a concert hall, where the audience is expected to remain respectfully still and silent, our breathing and heartbeat synchronize with the music. Sound and movement are so closely intertwined, some languages have just one word meaning both music and dance. In I Got Rhythm, I introduced four note-lengths based on familiar bodily movements.  I then called them Breathe, Jump, Walk, and Run, but have since reassessed and now prefer Stomp, Jump, Step and Run. ‘Step’ sounds better than ‘Walk’ when said aloud repeatedly and, while breathing is a good timekeeper, stomping is a gross-motor skill and thus consistent with the others. Also, stomping is much, much more fun!

So, here is how I like to introduce the four note lengths to young children…

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