144. Spring Performances Light Up School Curriculum
Talking Hands Talking Feet shows how to bring the curriculum alive through interactive performing arts programs, culminating with three Spring performances in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Teaching subjects through song and movement arts is transforming children’s learning one classroom at a time. Establishing this cutting edge teaching methodology has been the mission of Paul and Melanie Zeir, cofounders of Songs To Educate and their internationally recognized record label, Talking Hands Talking Feet, since 1997.
This Spring, Talking Hands Talking Feet celebrates its tenth anniversary creating curriculum based performing arts programs in Santa Fe, New Mexico public and independent schools. These twelve week arts integrated programs culminate with school and community performances of a very special nature.
The programs this year were “Human Body School”, exploring physiology, integrative body systems and healthy living ways; “Wild and Free”, inquiring into endangered animal species and their habitats, care for the earth and sustainable ways of living; and finally, “We Are Here”, traveling from the Universe to the Solar System to the Sun to the Earth, in a micro-macro comparison discovery.
“It is about making school special, making learning special,” says Melanie Zeir. “It is about bringing your curriculum alive and endearing the community. It is a gift to the families to experience what their children are learning. And the children are so proud to show it.”
Here is a letter from a participating teacher:
“Dear Melanie and Paul,
I can’t thank you enough for the beautiful work you do with our students! Your work was particularly beneficial for this year’s group of first graders who really needed to move!
Our students so looked forward to working with you each week! Your work is a beautiful way for us to synthesize all that we have learned, and then express it creatively in song, movement, and writing. We used your songs to work on recognizing nouns, adjectives, pronouns, verbs and adverbs- part of our first grade curriculum; also in learning about the importance of details in writing.
We are always working on controlling our bodies in first grade. How wonderful to learn how it feels to work at controlling and expressing ourselves and ideas through movement and dance. Your work helps our learning spirits to soar! I would like our work with you to be a first grade tradition at the end of each year!
This is a way to bring the curriculum alive using songs and movement, story and theater, poetry and visual arts. It is right at the fingertips of every educator. It doesn’t require expensive changes or special degrees. It only requires a willingness to try, one song at a time. The training happens by doing it.
Children naturally love to learn this way.
The mission of Songs To Educate is to provide bright tools to integrate connective song and movement arts in learning every day. These thoughtful songs activate and encourage young bodies, hearts and minds helping to make curriculum content interesting and enjoyable. Songs To Educate answers a profound need for teachers to be able to engage and delight students in the love of learning.