Each first grade class participates in an extra music class for half of the school year, so instead of one music class each week they have two music classes each week for half of the school year. During this extra music class I have made it a priority to focus on introducing the students to music from other countries around the world. In each class the students are asked to listen to a song from somewhere else in the world, and then decide where they think the music is from and why. After they have offered their guesses I reveal the name of the country, show them where it is on the world map, and then teach them about the different instruments used in each song example. The children love this portion of music class and are always so eager to learn about music from far away lands.
In addition to these multicultural listening lessons, the students are also studying Camille Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals during their extra music classes, and are continuing to work on instrumental and vocal techniques, cooperative movement activities, and composition.