I’m Growing Up: Fingerplays, Action Songs, Singing Games and Stories for Young Children
Mary Alice and Peter Amidon
Saturday, July 26th – 4:00 – 5:00 General Session
The Amidons will be leading a wide range of time-tested and engaging music/ movement activities for young children, many drawn from the oral tradition, including singing games in scatter, circle, and longways formations, dances with and without partners, fingerplays singing games introduced with a story, and musical story games.
The activities mix a cappella singing with singing/dancing to accordion or guitar accompaniment, and, occasionally, dancing and singing to recorded music. The Amidons will model how to transition between exuberant and calming activities, and how to use storytelling as a powerful teaching tool for dancing with children.
Peter Amidon co-directs both the Guilford (VT) Community Church Choir, and Hallowell, southeastern Vermont’s a cappella SATB hospice choir. He has led Sacred Harp singing at the Old Songs Festival for twenty years, and was handpicked by Pete Seeger to run the Circle of Song, a participatory singing stage at the Great Hudson River Clearwater Revival Music Festival, for four years. Choruses throughout the US and the UK are singing songs from the two collections of Amidon SATB choral arrangements and compositions: “Fifty-five Anthems for the Small Church Choir” and “Twenty-five Anthems for Interfaith and Community Choirs”.
Peter leads solo elementary school residencies, and, with Mary Alice, duo school assembly concerts of traditional dance, song and storytelling. He has been the featured storyteller, contra dance caller, and harmony singing leader at several of the Country Dance and Song Society of America’s summer camps of traditional dance and song.
Mary Alice Amidon is an annual favorite in elementary schools for her music, storytelling and dance residencies with K-4 students. She presents music teacher workshops throughout the U.S. by herself and with Peter Amidon. In addition to her duo recordings of songs for children with Peter, Mary Alice has recorded two solo albums of songs for children and one for adults (“Keys to the Kingdom, produced by son Sam Amidon, and including old and new songs including several originals). She has led harmony singing at Adult Village Harmony and Country Dance and Song Society summer camps. Mary Alice was the co-editor of all three of the New England Dancing Masters singing games collections, including their most recent “I’m Growing Up” book/CD/DVD geared to pre-school through second graders. She is one of twenty-five composers commissioned to compose an original choral piece (‘Sweet is the Day’) for the Social Band’s Vermont Composer’s Project. Mary Alice has a particular gift for enhancing picture books with music, song, storytelling and movement.