Throwback Thursday: Maypole in the Music Room


This is Lindsay Jervis, blogging from Wichita, KS.

First I wanted to share a bit of news, for celebrations, encouragement and words of wisdom that you might offer. I just found out yesterday that I was elected president-elect of Kodaly Music Educators of Kansas.  I am so excited and care so much about our organization that I hope I will be a great VP for the next two years and a good president when it is my turn.

As music teachers, we always take on so much. I just finished my Kodaly Certification last summer from Wichita State University and I am currently still working on my masters.

I have a young daughter who will turn two this summer, and will hopefully have another baby before my term is up as president. I was a little leery about whether the timing would be right for me and my family for me to accept nomination for this position, but I feel so strongly that our organization is making a difference in our teaching and in our students lives, so I feel that it is a task worthy of my time and effort.

KMEK will be super busy over the next few years as we gear up to host MKMEA in 2015, so we will sure have a lot on our plates!

I would love any advice, tips, of anything you can offer to me as I take on this new commitment in my area to bettering our organization of music teachers.

Now, on to my post!

I am going to do a little "Throwback Thursday" in celebration of May Day. You can find links to many other great "Throwback Thursday" blog posts on Aileen Miracle's blog.

This post is a throwback from my blog, Pursuit of Joyfulness written in May of last year.

When I took the job at my school two years ago, I inherited this fantastic maypole:
Apparently the maintenance people (who are amazing!) at our school made it a few years ago. The pole is a really thick pvc pipe. The ribbons are attached to a rotating bike wheel at the top. Even though it rotates, the ribbons still create a fantastic weave! Usually sand bags are placed over the boards at the base, but we could not find them. The must have walked away for something else.

Last year I did not get the maypole out because I had no clue how to do it or teach it and it seemed incredibly daunting last year. This year as May drew nearer I knew that I wanted to try it. I started researching maypole dancing.

Here were some helpful links:

And here is a link about making your own:

1. Have every student stand beside a ribbon
2. Demonstrate how to hold the ribbon (in your hand farthest away in the maypole,using your other hand to guide the ribbon over and under). I had everyone facing clockwise. Our ribbons were long enough that I told my kids that they should have a "tail" hanging down from their hand. We practiced how to make the tails longer or shorter so that the ribbons would not touch the floor.
3. The first time through we just walked in our circle. We may sure not to pass anyone and keep ourselves evenly spaced. Once I could see that was successful, we would turn and go the other way, then we would try the same thing with skipping feet.

4. Then we would number off (1, 2) and I would have my 2's (blue in picture below) stay put and my 1's (greens) got to weave in and out the 2's. I would call "under" and "over" and I modeled what that would look like for both ones and twos. Starting out we moved very slowly and I would wait til all my ones had progressed one space before I would give the next call. In a few of my classes I would have a student who would move ahead of my instructions and it would mess up the weave and we would have to restart. After that, everyone listened perfectly because the really wanted to be able to create the weave and unweave it correctly. 

My first graders were even able to do this weave! Here's a picture from one of my third grade classes. Sorry it's not the best quality but it gives you an idea. I didn't have enough kids for every ribbon, so I wound the extra ribbons around the maypole before we started the song so they would be out of the way. You can see them below the weave in the picture (blue and orange ribbons). 

Here is a link to some other weaves you could try: 

The music I used to accompany our maypole dancing was from the Amidons CD that I already owned. I did not buy any specific music for the maypole, but I just used an instrumental reel and it worked perfectly.

Please let me know if you have any additional resources for music/dances to do with the maypole!

No comments

Back to Top