Does it feel like Winter yet where you are? Here in New England, we had our first snowstorm on December 1, so we are in full on Winter mode - complete with endless layers of clothing and endless hours placing said clothing on our children’s bodies! Yay!
I confess I’m a bit of a grump when it comes to the cold weather - but my perspective has shifted lately as my 3-year-old daughter has been SO excited for snow this year, and the white stuff did not disappoint this week. (Glee! Joy! Rolling in it! Eating it! More glee! More eating!)
Each movement in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons describes a particular aspect of the season. The imagery is vivid, which is part of what makes this piece so fun to listen to with both kids and adults. The first movement of “Winter” (marked I. Allegro non molto) is meant to depict a shivery, teeth-chattering experience in the bitter cold. In a future post we’ll share more activities to explore this imagery with your children, but today we just wanted to give you a simple activity to try with this piece as an introduction.
This activity would work well with any age child, from babies through preschoolers. It’s a simple stuffed animal choreography. There are alternating sections of insistent steady beats (shivering?), followed by free sounding violin sections (the wind?). Grab a stuffed animal for you, and one for your kiddo. Babies will enjoy watching you make up a simple stuffed animal choreography, and older kids will love making their beloved animal friends dance. Our choreography looks something like this: bear dances from side to side during steady beat shiver sections, bear does amazing acrobatic leaps and turns in the air during solo violin wailing wind sections, bear jumps up and down during the louder sections. Bear interacts with baby when the moment feels right!
We hope this brings a bit of fun to you on a wintry day. Enjoy your musical minute!