First Steps for the Upper Elementary Movement Beginner
Age does not reflect psychomotor development. Movement education materials written for upper elementary grade levels (3-5) are not necessarily developmentally appropriate for students who are newly approaching creative and structured dance in the music classroom. Music educators must mindfully select movement activities similarly to their selection process for musical skills, based on their students’ readiness from previous experiences, mental, physical, and social development. Teachers have varying comfort levels instructing movement lessons and may choose a complex movement piece based solely on the age or grade-level label on the activity. This project intends to empower music educators with pedagogical strategies to prepare movement beginners to later perform complex movement skills with ease and deepened understanding. Model sequences, provided by influential learning theorists and movement educators, offer stages of motor development to motivate and initiate instruction. Through the use of creative movement and structured dance activities, music educators can utilize their knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice to approach complexities while maintaining a comfortable learning environment for their upper elementary beginners.