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  • We have covered a huge time span in 1 1/2 hours! Time flies when you are listening to music and dancing. The beginnings of this class have reconfirmed my use of music and dance across the curriculum because of its ability to connect with kids on a multitude of levels. Including fashion of the various eras would definitely appeal to my target audience.

    I hope to be teaching Alaska Studies next year to 9th graders and am anxious to include the Native music and dances that Elizabeth introduced as well as the resources available through Indian Ed. The "Welcoming Dance" is similar to a gathering activity I currently use called a "welcoming circle" - more connections to history.

    I enjoyed attempting to read the primary source document "The Art of Dancing Explained". It put me in a student's shoes, struggling with new material. It was was interesting to see how this felt again.

    The actual dance instruction was a bit difficult to follow- "The Minuet". I would start with easier dances, increase my students' comfort level before diving into this one!

  • The first, "Native American", is of special interest to me because it includes the Alaska Natives. In Anchorage Schools, where I teach, we have a significant population of Alaska Natives. I hope that by incorporating Alaska Native music , dance, stories, history, and artifacts into my music classroom,  I can help to validate them as community members and raise awareness and respect for Natives among the whole student population.

    In the second period, Renaissance Era, the Court Dances and music are integral to the rich man's entertainment, politics, and society. The Church's with their great sacred music tradition wielded great power and influence: a very different culture from ours today. I could certainly use Renaissance materials in my lesson plans because in my music classes we discuss other cultures and compare them to ours--building new understanding of both yesterday and today.

    The third period, the Baroque, I especially like to study because of the musical instruments that came from that time, including the great german pipe organs, and the music of that era, most notably from Johann Sebastian Bach. 

  • Ah-ha! That worked! So will finish: I really liked Elizabeth's suggestions of the welcome dance saying," I see you, I am  a safe person, and I respect you".

    I think the students will enjoy seeing how the fashions changed throughout the eras, and how it all inter-relates with societal norms, freedom of movement, and dance styles. I teach music, so I can teach all of the eras through the history of music and relate different periods to the social studies curriculum for the different grade levels. I think it would be fun and the students would really "get into it" if we spent a good bit of time on each era and also included other aspects: costumes, wigs, hats, etiquette, everyday life, etc. for each era.

  • I'm not sure what happened, I added my reflections this morning, but now don't see either of them.  I agree with everyone that the Welcome dance is perfect to start the year off. I also like the idea of learning some from many cultures and sharing them as we have many cultures represented in our school. I think this would tie in with the SEL standards and help to build a stronger community.

  • One of the more interesting things I picked up from this era was the origin of the ballet positions from the dance masters manual from the 1700s. I think this reading, perhaps even just the table of contents, would be a great thing to have my high school students look over before they start dancing - it would help dispel the myth that dancing is "easy", considering there are pages on just how to walk and stand, let alone actually dancing.  I think it would lead to some interesting reflection and discussion on why there were so many rules and how this reflects the society's preoccupation with class, wealth, and image.  This would also pair very nicely with images and a discussion of the clothing from this time and how it reflects/restricts the people's physical movement.

    As far as the actual dancing goes, I thought the greeting dance might be a good icebreaker on day one of class, possibly paired with a name exchange when you shake hands.  I am not sure I would ever teach the minuet in class; the complexity of the dance would necessitate a lot of teaching time and in my mind would not be worth the lost curriculum time in this instance.

  • The welcome dance would be a great beginning of the year ice breaker.  It seems flexible enough to do what it's intended to do and not encroach on varying concepts of personal space.


    A few observations on the Minuet:

    a) Not good for people with hip replacements!!

    b) I've never had the occasion to dance a minuet before.

    c) Of the possible patterns presented the "Z" pattern seemed to make the most sense to start with.

    d) I was not aware this was George Washington's favorite.

    e) This time frame fits in better with a world history class as opposed to a U.S. class.


  •       I was struck by the simplicity of the Native American songs and dances.  I am drawn to using these in my classroom as a way to introduce my students to the idea of dancing.  Like you said, these dances don't require a lot of pre-teaching, so they would be perfect for the first few weeks of school.  Many people have mentioned using the "Welcome Dance" as a getting to know you activity.  I definitely agree!  Within my second grade reading curriculum we read non-fiction stories about the many different Native American tribes.  I can see myself expanding upon the text by incorporating some dances.

         I enjoyed learning about and practicing songs and dances from the Renaissance and Baroque eras, although I haven't had that "aw ha" moment regarding how to incorporate them into my curriculum.  I appreciate learning about the fashions and social trends of the periods, because they influence the dancing styles tremendously.  

  • I'm very interested in the resources from ASD to use in my classroom to teach the Alaska Native studies unit that we teach in third grade.  The music from the period has lots of rhythm and repetition.  That should be good for a first music lesson (on my part) for my students.  

    Renaissance and Baroque Eras are an interesting and fun time period to learn about.  The fashions match the music and the style in their level of sophistication.  I enjoy listening to the multiple layers of harmony in the pieces of these periods.  

    The contrast of the Native American music to the European Renaissance and Baroque Eras is significant. 

  • The music sounds primitive: simple in structure and instrumentation.  The face that Native American song we heard doesn't have lyrics is interesting.   For the European dances, I  was surprised to find out the weights of clothes.  To me they looked like costumes.  I agree that the people in that era would need to dress up as much as they could to impress the royal members.  For 6th grade band in town, we play a song that has Native drums.  I will teach my students the historical background.

  • I liked the Native American song that was just voices and percussion instruments. One person commented that the high voices sounded like they were mimicking a bird. We could discuss similarities to different Native groups. The hello dance was a fun way to get to know others and I would use it at the beginning of the year, when there was a new student  in class, or after a long break.The sample of Renaissance was beautiful. The minuet was fun but a little hard for me to follow the steps. In class, I might put tape down on the floor to show the direction I want them to move after introductions. In the Baroque period, we could discuss the difference between a court dance and a country dance of the time as well as fashion and if it affected movement.

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