I often jokingly say, “I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I’d like to be reincarnated as a dancer.” I am not a dancer, but I am a music teacher. One of my joys as an elementary general music teacher is choreographing routines to go with recorded music or assigning motions to the songs my students sing in class. The students seem to learn music faster and with greater understanding when the music is connected to some sort of movement—preferably expressive movement.
These movements paired with the unthreatening audience of elementary-aged children help me release some inhibitions and teach with greater musicality. Speaking to children in terms of dynamics, musical phrases, articulation and style is far less effective than modeling expression with voice and body. The latter also invites the young musicians to feel the music for themselves.
If I were not an elementary music teacher, I doubt I would have explored my ability to create expressive movements. Adults seldom use this learning modality. Although I take the whole-body approach when preparing lessons for school, if I’m learning and studying for non-school-related endeavors, I seem to solely rely upon a cognitive approach. Why not employ my whole body when memorizing God’s Word?