Vocal Health

It’s that time of year. You know what I mean. The time of year when the temperatures change and there are a lot of things in the air that irritate us. No… I’m not talking about government or any other touchy subject that is likely to get someone on their soapbox. I’m referring to cold and flu season.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it happens about now not necessarily due to the time of year seasonally, but due to the weird flux of stress that occurs.  For example, I am almost certain that I am dealing with major allergies because I’ve been in high performance stress for these first 9 weeks of school for our annual dance program. Now I’m shifting gears to a more “typical”classroom routine, still preparing for performances, but no where near the intense level we were at previously.

As such, I’m doing what we should all do which is to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. It is important to not try to sing through conditions like this since what has happened usually is that your vocal chords have been overused and are needing the rest. I tell my students all the time that talking is actually one of the worst things for your vocal chords. Singing actually works with your vocal chords more naturally and is gentler with the muscles than talking. Of course whispering is definitely better than talking to rest your vocal chords since whispering does not engage this set of muscles. Whispering also helps with overall voice levels in your class as the students tend to be at what voice level you the teacher set. Food for thought, you know?

By the way, our dance program was a roaring success! Many thanks go out to the food trucks that provided dinner and dessert for us (Let Em Eat Brats, Funky Monkey Munchies, and Kona Ice), our supportive co-workers and administration, and of course our community of families! We had over half of the school in attendance with their families. The students continue to raise the bar for themselves challenging us to find new ways to challenge them. I’ll be updating soon with a few pictures from the event. For now, I’m off to drink some more water and get some rest!

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It’s showtime!

I know a lot of references for my title, but they are not what I’m referring to in this blog. This week is the week of our school’s big dance program entitled this year as “Broadway on 2nd St.” As the title suggests, we are doing a Broadway musicals theme and everyone is getting involved. The night will go something like this:

School ends and busses leave our parking lot about 4:20. Set up for the event starts including food truck staging, sound system checks, parking cones put up around the perimeter so people know where they can set up their lawn chairs and blankets for seating, people start claiming their seats all within about 30 minutes of the busses leaving.

We then settle in for the actual dinner and social time before the program, but once the program starts you have to hold on tight and pay attention. The students will sit with their families while not performing. Our teachers will dance first this year to start the program. This is a tradition that hasn’t been done for a couple of years, but we couldn’t resist. Then each grade level will perform 2 dances; 1 PE and 1 music. To finish the night, everyone participates in a community “dance” that involves parents and children alike. Once this is done, everyone says their good nights, packs up, and goes home while myself, my partner, and our PE alter egos take everything down and put it away for the night.

Now you’re probably wondering, “But Mrs. Fusilier! With such a broad topic as Broadway musicals, how and what did you choose to use for your performance?”Well, wait no longer because here is the list:

Teacher Dance: Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast

Kindergarten: All Star from Shrek (music) and Olly the Octopus (PE)

1st Grade: Step in Time from Mary Poppins (music) and Oompa Loompa from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (PE)

2nd Grade: Sunday Clothes from Hello Dolly (music) and Singing in the Rain (PE)

3rd Grade: Seize the Day from Newsies (music) and There’s No Business Like Show Business (PE)

4th Grade: Trashing the Camp from Tarzan (music) and Footloose (PE)

5th Grade: Hard Knock Life from Annie Jr (music) and Hand Jive from Grease (PE)

Community “Dance”: So Long, Farewell from Sound of Music

If you happen to be interested in these dance, please just email me, musicteacherfusilier@gmail.com, and I will gladly share those with you. And please remember to keep dancing like no one is watching!