Lakeside School at Black Kettle Farm offers birth – 1st grade (soon to be 2nd grade) education based on the Waldorf philosophy on a working farm in Essex, NY. Each week our Office Administrator, Kathleen Morse, writes on the Lakeside school and community and education based on the Waldorf philosophy through her perspective from the office window.
View from the Office Window: 1st Grade African Drumming and French Lessons
I sit on the south porch writing this week because we continue to have internet challenges and… it’s a beautiful day! The added bonus of sitting in the sun on the porch is being able to experience the 1st grade’s French class. They sit on the benches in the yard in a circle with Mademoiselle Racey. Each child has a West African drum on their lap and is learning different rhythms. Mademoiselle Racey offers a rhythm and the first graders copy the rhythm. Then there are six drums singing the particular rhythm. The whole class is conducted mostly in French, and the children respond right away to Mademoiselle Racey’s instructions. As the class goes on, each child is allowed to develop her own rhythm, within the parameters that Mademoiselle Racey sets. Then each child teaches her rhythm to the others. This patterning is a critical skill to develop, both in being able to copy patterns and to create them. These skills are important for children not only in music development but are also necessary for children as fundamental skills in both language arts and mathematics. Reading and spelling rely highly on pattern recognition as well as developing versatility of computation with the four operations in arithmetic. The drumming section of the class finishes with each child playing his own rhythm and six individual drums sing in chorus with the other! The class ends with the children reciting a poem in French.
What a way to spend an afternoon class in first grade – outside, drumming, and learning French all the while strengthening important skills for mathematics and language arts.
I hope you are enjoy this warmer weather as much as the children at Lakeside!
Until next week,