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Music Classes Add Joy to Virtual Days
Music Classes Add Joy to Virtual Days
Posted on 04/07/2020
A student does a singalong song.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

Even though she would rather put ukuleles or mountain dulcimers into her students’ hands, Ms. Jennifer J. Anderson said Virtual Days online classes have created new opportunities for students to interact with music.

“Their reactions make it so interesting,” she said. “The younger kids will try anything. I even had them identifying major and minor chords, because they don’t know that’s hard. There’s excitement and spontaneity.”

Ms. Anderson, a music teacher at Pisgah Elementary School and W.D. Williams Elementary School, said her online classroom has created a space where children discuss music during and even outside of their normal class time.

“A lot of the kids that are really fired up about music are on there every day,” she said. “They’re going outside and recording the sounds of nature. They’re making music journals and listening to new songs to draw inspiration. We’ve got this whole community sharing ideas instead of feeling isolated.”

Her lessons are active and engaging while also drawing together content from other classes. Kindergarteners are dribbling balls to learn how to keep a steady beat and dancing to singalongs. Fourth-graders are connecting songs and instruments to North Carolina history, and Dual Language Spanish Immersion students are learning songs in Spanish.

“I love elementary, because it’s everything,” Ms. Anderson said. “It’s singing, it’s instruments, it’s theory. You teach it all. You don’t have to specialize. And music connects all the disciplines together. I don’t have to stretch to include history or science. Music is a great place for those connections across the school.”

She and other music teachers are meeting online to share advice and lesson plans. She's been impressed by what her colleagues and other music educators are doing around the state. She's thankful for supportive administrators who post in her online classrooms and show their support.

She’s connecting to families on different platforms to keep them looped in. Most importantly, she’s sharing videos and happy songs with the children.

“They see my face,” she said. “I’m telling them how much I miss them, how happy I am to see them. I make sure to ask the parents to say hey for me to their kids if I’m talking to them. There’s consistent communication and acknowledgement that I miss them. I'm so proud that our BCS students and families have chosen to keep the arts in their lives even in a time of crisis.”

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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