Students at Wainwright Middle School are learning there’s more to choir than singing. Because of the pandemic and limitations on singing, Teacher Kelly Caudill took a different approach to music education by using picture books as a tool to help students gain a deeper appreciation of music.
Caudill reads a story to the students or the students pick out a book to read on their own. Titles include Coat of Many Colors, Octopus’s Garden, We Shall Overcome, With a Little Help From My Friends and Rock What Ya Got.
“I have used the books as a way to introduce new music to students, help them connect with the world, reflect on their own lives, increase listening skills, introduce new vocabulary (musical or non-musical) and generate class discussions that we might not normally have if we just sang a song together.” says Caudill.
Caudill received funding for the book collection through a grant from the Public Schools Foundation of Tippecanoe County.
After doing research, watching how other schools are handling singing and investigating safe air exchanges in the building, Caudill is slowly adding more singing into the curriculum.
“I hope that by reading these books, students will learn and remember that it is possible to be flexible with plans even during a pandemic,” says Caudill.