Dance with the Irish

It St. Patrick’s Day and I am home, so I decided to go for a run and listen to Irish music. I love the variety of Irish music and my family has been going to Irish Fest for several years to listen to Irish bands in the park.

It made me remember a little boy I had in class a couple years ago, who told me he hated music. It made me sad. I use music for brain breaks, counting songs, rhymes, positional space, and patterning. There are a lot of children’s music available to use and kid shouldn’t just sit; they need to move and learn. As the rest of the class danced, he sat. He would pout, ” I don’t want to. I don’t like music.”

This went on for months and we just couldn’t get him to participant in even the “Driving in my Car” song. Until St. Patrick’s Day I did a simple simple search in youtube for Irish music. At first I got the classics of “Irish Eyes and Smiling” and “O Danny Boy” which are nice but not great for preschool dancing.

So I changed my search and got a lot of bag pipes, and I just could remember any of the bands we listened to. I was getting frustrated and I really wanted to make this work. Also, it is important to be a little careful because nearly all the songs are about drinking and whiskey, so I finally caved in and the first band that came to mind was Flogging Molly. It is fun band, but not really early childhood music appropriate, but it is great dance music.

So with 18 kids with movement scarves, we starting dancing to Flogging Molly, and suddenly here comes my little Jimmy alive and dancing. We swirled and we tried to kick up our heels until we were out of breath. Jimmy did a great air guitar, that we had never knew was there. And we definitely shut the door and prayed the administration didn’t decide to do a walk through observation. We danced.

I learned, we all enjoy dancing when we have the right song– even if it might not always fit best for the classroom. Sometimes he would ask for the Leprechaun song; and we would have to shut the door and play some. But we found music he liked.

*Side note: The Drop Kick Murphys will live streaming a concert today!

2 thoughts on “Dance with the Irish

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