Workshops

We, the four members of New England Dancing Masters (NEDM), Andy Davis, Mary Cay Brass, and Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, present our workshop: Teaching Traditional Dance and Singing Games to Children at AOSA (Orff), OAKE (Kodaly) and MEA (Music Educator Association) conferences throughout the United States. Most often the presentation is by two or three of the New England Dancing Masters members, occasionally all four of us present together.

While sharing some great traditional American and English dances and singing games for children, we will also be discussing how to create a positive dance experience from the very first dance session, how to keep the dancing engaging, choosing a dynamic succession of dances and singing games, fostering dance independence, and generally making dance an integral part of the music program and of the greater school community.

We can do a general workshop on teaching dance to grades K-6, or we can have more specifically focused workshops such as:

Singing Games & Songs for Young Children (pre-school - 2nd grade)

This workshop will include dances in circle, scatter and longways formations with and without partners; group singing; fingerplays; and musical story games. We will intersperse the dancing with dance teaching and management tips. Our repertoire is drawn largely from the oral tradition.

Teaching Dance to Older Elementary Children (3rd - 6th grade

We will lead some of our favorite traditional Anglo-American social dances for older children, including partner dances in circle, longways and square formations. We intersperse the dancing with a discussion on teaching and management tips. We will discuss how to foster creating a dance culture within a school community.