Teaching Music Through Dance

The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Kidz Newz #183 – 7th December 2020

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This will be my last newsletter. Do stay in touch if you wish. The website will remain open for a little longer hence the email address will remain for the time being. Thank you for being loyal followers over the years. I have enjoyed your feedback and enjoyed meeting many of you at workshops and conferences. Thank you for your friendship. Keep on being the musical legends that you all are so you can keep inspiring today’s children – tomorrow’s world leaders.

Teaching Music Through Dance

I have written before about the importance of incorporating movement, especially dance, into music teaching (go to the archive – #47, #172, #174) and I was reminded of this recently while helping a Canadian friend edit her memoir manuscript. In it she talks about her year eight music teacher who was teaching the students ‘world music’. In this class the students were taught to recognize the music from different countries, then different regions within the same country, to recognize the different instruments used and in some cases learning to play those instruments! They were also taught the folk songs from the different countries and they took great pride in being able to pronounce the words correctly, even though they had no idea what those words meant. Above all, they were taught the folk dances – and traditional costumes – that accompanied these traditional pieces of music, recognizing how the dance steps matched the musical notes and tones. Of course, they also needed to learn the geography and ethnography of the regions as they covered them. In this way, the learning is layered, as it should be. Astonishingly, the students loved the class so much that they used to put on folk-dance performances regularly because they had become so proficient, such was their love of the dancing! And this was the music class! The teacher even invited the students to take part in weekend dance workshops where visiting teachers from Europe and the USA would come to teach various folk dances. The music class continued throughout the high school years and the enthusiasm was maintained because of the enthusiasm of the teacher.

The point is, music is different things to different people and the way to engage your students may well be something like dance, which you may not have seriously considered a valuable aspect of the teaching of music. I suggest you give it a try. You might just be surprised. If you are teaching much younger children you would adapt your class accordingly but you can still incorporate dance. In fact, I highly recommend that you do. Want music from other countries? Try the kidz-fiz-biz Multicultural book.

Free Books!

I still have stocks of the Multicultural and Scarf Magic books if you would like them. One teacher got a box of Scarf Magic to give to her incoming kindy parents as a welcome gift. What a lovely gift! That was a pick-up as I’m sure the postage would not have been cheap. But I could enquire. Otherwise, free to a good home but you need to pay the postage. Contact me directly for more details – info@kidzfizbiz.com or phone 0410 642 781.

ECE State Conference in Perth has been further postponed to 4 & 5 June 2021

I strongly urge you to register for this as I won’t be sending out any more reminders.

New Book on Child Development

My friend, Jenny Cluning, has just written a book – Building Bright Futures – which I urge you to have a look at –

View the media release
Visit the website

Quotes of the Week

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid. Albert Einstein

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. Albert Einstein


Great activities for Music and PE –Mary Happ, Primary Music Specialist, Our Lady of Lourdes, Nollamara

It was excellent. I would have liked more time for more! Karen I Bigwood

I’ve just picked up your book again Marlene (having a Kindy class and all) and I love it! Just want to say thanks…I’ve had a fun morning listening to all the music and songs on CD1!
(Jessica McCaul)

I have found comfort and reassurance in your newsletters over the years. It’s hard to find time to do extra reading and so many emails get sent through but I never delete yours – they are short, sweet and inspiring.
(Jessica McCaul)


One of the oldies but goodies I thought I’d recycle because I love it. Enjoy!

Happy Christmas from Australia

Click to watch the video

Have a wonderful Christmas break and sane end of term.
So long and thanks for all the fish …

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at conferences. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892 Australia
T: +61 8 9355 4890 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E: info@kidzfizbiz.com

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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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