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A Peek Inside the Classroom: Wing Lake Music Sing-a-long

A Peek Inside the Classroom: Wing Lake Music Sing-a-long

Wing Lake’s gymnasium buzzes with excitement and energy as students and staff enter and settle into rows and groups while Mr. Joe Yankee, Wing Lake’s adaptive music teacher, sings “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Everyone is ready to move and sing along with Mr. Joe at the annual holiday sing-along. Various instruments such as tambourines, drums, and shakers are displayed on a table and Mr. Joe reminds the group to pick up a song sheet and an instrument on their way into the gym.

Mr. Joe starts by greeting the audience and launches into his first song, “Sing a Song,” getting cheers and whoops from the crowd. Students clap, sway, and bounce as Mr. Joe sings, strums his guitar, and bangs a drum. The next several songs honor different holidays in the winter season. To add to the festive atmosphere, today is Wing Lake’s Disney Day (part of spirit week). Mickey Mouse ears and Minnie Mouse bows bop along to the music and Disney apparel of all kinds brighten the room. Mr. Joe continues the serenade and works in a counting lesson during the song, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” asking students to clap the number of the days after each verse. Students know bits and pieces of the words and sing aloud when they can and one jubilant student excitedly exclaims, “Good job, that was amazing!”

Mr. Joe ends the music session with a unique way to recognize each student. His last song is the “ABC” song, which he sings slowly and asks staff to call out the student’s names that begin with each letter. The kids hear their name and cheer and wave.  Mr. Joe loves this event. He says students benefit from the participation and the movement. “I love singing, I love working with the kids…I love the audience here. When I see the kids enjoying it, I get a lot of satisfaction out of that.” After 45 minutes of singing, smiles and excitement, students head back to class humming holiday songs in their heads.