Our first project was to build a home-made musical instrument. He decided on a rainstick. I provided all of the materials and he did the work. He said it was "really cool" and that it came out "really good." The second project was a bit more difficult and required some instructional time in the music room. Flashback to "Conducting 101."
This young man is highly motivated and has an eagerness to learn, so I asked him if he wanted to conduct in 2/4, 3/4 or 4/4. His response was 3/4 time. We tried a Strauss waltz, but it was too lengthy and the conductor had invoked so much "rubato" in the recording that the beat was somewhat obscured. This was not a good choice for my budding maestro. In a flash of brilliance, I thought about "America" or "My Country 'tis of Thee," as it is sometimes called. I had recently completed a patriotic unit in first grade and the materials were easily accessible.
I explained what a 3-pattern should look like, I modeled a 3-pattern for him and then I placed a baton in his hand and he mirrored my conducting pattern for the duration of the song. We worked on our entrances and exits, holding the final note and cutting off at the appropriate time. (It's much harder than you think!!)
Mini lesson - Conducting a 3-pattern
Cue Words - "down, out, up"
I sent Maestro Chase home with a rehearsal packet and cannot wait for him to return with his music badge.