Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson

Music and exercise combined makes for an interesting class


April 10, 2019

Stephanie Thompson

Harrison Elementary School students from left to right Ethan Bundy, Kai Greulich and Samantha Smith beat along to the music.

Green River elementary students used drum sticks to tap balls, their shoes or the floor in order to make music while exercising.

Harrison Elementary and Washington Elementary music teacher Kathy Rath and PE and health teacher Briana Fuller taught kids at Harrison School how exercise and music can be combined to get fit and have fun by using a DrumFit kit they borrowed from Lincoln Middle School.

Rath said she and Fuller were discussing how to incorporate a dance unit into PE, when Fuller told her she knew LMS had received a DrumFit kit. Once they had the kit, they asked Harrison teachers if they had any large exercise balls they could borrow for the class. They also asked for buckets and any other items they can use to set the balls on.

"We had 30 kits from LMS, and were able to get enough ball from other teachers, in order to have 52 balls total." Rath said. "Enough for our largest group of combined fifth graders and also a ball for each of us teachers to use."

In order to plan for the class, Rath and Fuller use the DrumFit kit book and looked up videos on YouTube that other PE and music teachers had posted.

"We watched and practiced them, figuring out which ones would be most suited for the different grade levels," Rath said.

While the kids might think they are just having fun, they are exercising and completing other tasks.

"We constantly work on staying together in time and keeping the steady beat, and having it sound like one person, instead of a whole lot of people," she said.

"It also helps with coordination and fitness. When kids exercise, their brain is ready to learn more. Exercise helps in so many ways."

Even though Rath would have liked to take all of the equipment over to Washington Elementary, but it would have been too much to transport so she decided to try something else.

"It is a nice change of routine for us and the kids, and we are doing this dance unit for four weeks, ending Friday," she said. "I am also doing a dance unit at Washington."

As for the dance unit, the kids have enjoyed that as well.

"We taught them line dances, which they can, perhaps, use at weddings in the future," Rath said. "We've done dances from Ireland, Mexico, Russia. We even learned some Russian words to do the Russian dance. It has been so much fun."

Rath said the children has easily do the drum fit activity at home. All it takes is a set of drum sticks, an exercise ball and their parents to find them Youtube videos of the activity.


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