What’s Happening This Year in the KMEA ISW Elementary Room

Carrie Devries, KMEA Elementary Music Chair
Carrie Devries, KMEA Elementary Music Chair

KMEA Elementary Room Century II 210 B & C Redbud

It has been my privilege to serve KMEA and its members for the past four In-Service workshop experiences. Assisting for the 2016 and 2017 ISWs broadened my awareness to how we, the music teachers of Kansas, are a welcoming, collaborative, and participatory group of fantastic musicians. As the chair for 2018 and 2019, it was easy to invite clinicians to come to Kansas because we have such a broad scope of talent and interest in KS.  Thank you for providing a caring and interested climate so our presenters and performers felt affirmed and validated.  I am so looking forward to our time together Feb. 21-23 2019!!

We have a uniquely exciting ISW planned for all those looking for inspiration for their music classrooms!  As school districts across the state of Kansas align their curriculum with the state standards as well as the national standards in music education, general music teachers are restructuring how they create lessons for their students.  The presenters who will be leading sessions have been invited to share how they approach the standards in imaginative way with creative approaches.

Connie VanEngen (National Conference Chair AOSA 2020 Convention) will be presenting sessions that will engage participants in imitation, exploration and improvisation embedded in a playful process for K-1, choosing musical pathways to pursue for 2-3rd, and collaborating with their community in 4-5th grades.

Dr. Jill Trinka (Professor of Music Education at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC) has directed Kodály Institutes at The University of Texas (Round Top), University of North Texas, DePaul University (Chicago), Portland State University (OR), and the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN). She will be leading her sessions with repertoire you can use and activities to increase their music literacy skills. Grades K-5  will be tracing several songs through these grades as a model of recycling repertoire to meet different pedagogic uses. In a specially requested session, participants will learn children’s singing games arising from the diffusion of African identity in North America, specifically, from West Africa, Gullah-Geechee culture in the Southeastern United States, the Deep South, the Caribbean, and the Northeast.

Co-presenters Sandy Lantz and Gretchen Wahlberg (national board certified teachers who have taught elementary music in Florida for over 38 years) have several publications of how to use ukulele in the general music classroom. Specifically geared toward the new trend!  “Ukulele in the Classroom” parts 1 and 2 will be a joyful set of sessions (especially if you are able to bring your uke). Come enjoy integrating this wonderful instrument in an Orff Classroom setting.  From beginning to intermediate to advanced (performance), come play with us!

“Kids with Autism CAN!!!”  In this session, attendees will participate in kid-tested games, props, songs, literature books, Orff arrangements, and strategies that work with children with special needs.  Specific examples of effective lessons and behavior strategies that have been successful in the music classroom will be included.  Questions and discussions will be welcomed.

Henry Leck, KMEA ISW All-State Elementary Choir Conductor
Henry Leck, KMEA ISW All-State Elementary Choir Conductor

We are thrilled to announce Henry Leck as the 2018-2019 Elementary All State Choir Conductor.  Mr. Leck is the founder and Conductor Laureate of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir which he served as artistic director for 30 year. He is a world-renowned choral clinician and is well known as a specialist in choral techniques, the child’s voice, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Laban and the boy’s changing voice. In his highly interactive reading session, Mr. Leck will demonstrate various choral techniques best used with a young choir and how to perform musical concepts found in the literature selections made from his extensive repertoire! We know our children will benefit from his artistry and expertise.

Our elementary audition numbers have grown to over 800 entries, making 2019 our biggest year. The select 160 voice choir is made up of 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students from 62 different schools throughout Kansas. We look forward to an inspiring concert on Thursday, February 21st at 5:45 PM. The diverse and exciting music Mr. Leck selected for the choir has challenged  our young musicians. We anxiously await the final concert and invite everyone to attend.

If you would like more information on the KMEA Elementary Choir and how your students can get involved, visit www.ksmea.org/elemchoir/ or contact me directly at jill.wiechman@usd262.net.

In addition to these sessions, we will also have a hip-hop session, teaching students who have experienced trauma, a performing elementary mallet ensemble as well as a choral ensemble, and our annual Community Folk Dance that will take place in Century II 210 B&C Redbud.

In case that isn’t enough, be looking for even more creative and intriguing sessions that will take place in Century II 203 Birch. Sessions will be presented by: Greg Gilpin (Elementary Games, Lessons, Ideas); Michael Raiber (NAfME SW Division President); Mirna Y. Cabrera (Latin American songs and games for various ages that have been classroom-tested); Cheryl Lavender (multicultural songs, games, dances and celebrations that nurture compassionate global connections and understanding); and Jennifer Hall (Organization for the Organizationally Challenged Elementary Music Teacher).

We are excited to see you and are anxious for great weather! Music on, friends!!

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