What’s Plan B?


I once heard the quote that if Plan A doesn’t work, not to worry. There are 25 other letters in the alphabet. Sometimes it is very necessary to have many back up plans. As I mentioned in the previous post, this is the time of year I and several of my co-workers tend to be stricken with various illnesses.  I was asked by one of the substitutes what I do when things happen like losing my voice. I didn’t even hesitate to answer sharing some of my back up plans. I would love to hear what some of your plans are. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorites.


This is one of my favorite musical stories to share. Peter and the Wolf is perfect whether as a brand new story introducing instruments of the orchestra to Kindergarten through 2nd grade or recognizing themes for 3rd through 5th grade!

RR logo classic

Another treasure to have in your bag of tricks. There are many episodes of this that would be great for a music room. 2 of my favorite episodes are ‘Zin Zin Zin a Violin‘ and ‘Hip Cat‘.  Zin Zin Zin talks about sizes of ensembles and gives a behind the scenes sneak peek at the Julliard Pre-College Orchestra. Hip Cat is a lovely introduction to jazz and improvisation. I love to do some improvisational dance along with this video.

My partner and I have been known to have centers on that day using a musical signal to switch centers.  Our centers usually involve our personal music book library as a reading station, an art center where students might create an instrument from recyclable objects or sketch their new version of an instrument, another center might be a listening center for students to follow along with a story to a recording. We also have access to a couple of laptop carts for a technology day once in a while. I’ll do a more tech focused blog in the near future.

Of course there are always ways to shift gears to help save voice and keep going with whatever unit you are on. For instance, switching from a melodic focus to a more rhythmic focus. It is also an awesome time for students to take ownership of the lesson and their learning. There are always students willing to help.

I think I’ve rambled on enough for now, but I’ll be back soon with more news about the happenings with my students and other hints, tips, etc. for you to use!


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!