I know I am biased being the Music Director, but Winter Sing at Bixby School is definitely one of my favorite traditions. On the last day of school before Winter Break, December 22, the entire school will gather in the gym to sing winter’s favorite tunes. These include, “Frosty The Snowman,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Jingle Bells” and many more. Winter Sing is a great stepping stone to the children’s music concert which will take place next semester. Winter Sing is not a performance, but a chance to sing together as one community and feel all the nice, warm feelings of the holiday season and not the pressure of performing in front of an audience.
There are surprises to look forward to as well. Every year, we sing “Suzie Snowflake” and a teacher dresses up as Suzie to dance around the gym and give the kids a good laugh. We never tell the students who Suzie is, so it is a fun surprise for all. Last year, it was Anna and I wonder who it will be this year?
Besides singing our winter favorites, I have added some Ms. Danielle traditions to Bixby’s Winter Sing. The first is an all-school song about love and peace that is practiced to performance level and includes the teachers and staff singing with PS-5th grade. This year, it is Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” This song reminds me of the family feeling I receive every day working at Bixby School. The lyrics speak to our core values of empathy and responsibility – “I’m on your side, oh when times get rough.” As you may have read from Matt’s latest blog, Bixby’s Preschool and Kindergarten have incorporated sign language into their daily teaching. This inspired me to teach the children sign language to the chorus of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Not only does signing help express emotions, as Matt said, “It helps bridge the communication gap with deaf or hard of hearing people, who number approximately 36 million individuals in the United States alone.”
Finally, I ask the teachers to learn a fun dance that is not only a surprise to the students, but our holiday gift to them. Think back to when you were little watching your teacher do something out of their comfort zone or seeing them in a totally different context. It was always mind blowing! Did you ever run into your teacher at the grocery store and think, “What is my teacher doing here, shopping for groceries?…Weird!” Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one. Dance routines from past years included “Watch Me Whip” and “Hand Clap.”
I hope to see you there and bring your beautiful singing voices!
Danielle Hermon Wood
Music Director & Marketing Assistant