Grade: Elementary
Subject: Music

#2447. Quiet, Soothing Movement Lesson

Music, level: Elementary
Posted Thu Nov 29 18:15:40 PST 2001 by Elizabeth Rexford (
What's Happening in the Music Room?
Longfellow School, Oak Park, IL
Materials Required: Recording of "All Night, All Day"
Activity Time: 10 to 20 minutes
Concepts Taught: How movement reflects music mood

This worked very well for me this week with 1st graders.

Day One
Have children listen quietly (with heads on desks?) to the recording of "All Night, All Day" (widely available in many music text series with CD's).

After the music is over, ask children to describe how the music made them feel or what they noticed about the music. (Answers will be:"sleepy", "calm", "smooth", etc.)

Day Two:
Play the music again.

Do a "modeling" exercise:

This time have the children stand and face you. Move your arms slowly in various directions and have the children mirror your movements. This is very calming. After awhile, try repeating the movements you made for one section every time the section of music repeats.

Next, tell the class that they will now work in small groups to create their own movements to the song. Divide the class quickly into groups of four. Stress that they can do any movements together in small circles throughout the room, except that all their movements must be slow.

Tip: Let this activity roll on for 5 minutes at this point. Walk around the room, encouraging each group without interferring too much. Use your judgement about helpful advice. The longer time you give them, the more "into" it, they will get. If you happen to have a silly class, ask all of them to sit down right there on the floor and get quiet.

After it seems that each group has a nice movement going, have everyone sit in their places on the floor and ask for groups to volunteer one by one to show what they made.

This was so satisfying and fun for me with my first grade classes this week. Three out of four did a beautiful job that almost brought tears to my eyes. One group was silly and did not do as well.