THE CHALLENGE: In today’s world where our “American Idol mentality” means viewers ridicule and eliminate people who don’t measure up, how do you use music to build self esteem in elementary school students?
THE CHAMPIONS: Music teacher Kristin Lukow travels among three Hastings, NE elementary schools and brings her non traditional approach to the classroom/and sometimes out of the classroom. Ms. Lukow believes music is at the core of who we are; it helps our brains connect and grow. She teaches fourteen K 6 classes a day and remains focused on the gift of music that she hopes her students never stop discovering.
THE SOLUTION: Keeping young children focused and engaged is no easy task, but Kristin Lukow does just that using non traditional techniques to teach the basic principles of music, and more importantly, to teach every child that he or she is a shining star.
Sometimes her music classes feel more like P.E. class. When she wants to teach a lesson on rhythm, she takes her students into the gym to bounce basketballs to the beat of the blaring music. Drawing music notes outside with sidewalk chalk, doing a full aerobic workout with jumping bands, or juggling with scarves are just a few of her creative activities.
There is one lesson that carries through each of her classes, and that’s that nobody is bad at music. Everyone is just different.
THE RESULTS: The response from students and their parents is overwhelming, and Kristin has turned to the internet as a way to share her teaching techniques and encourage other educators to think outside the box in their classes. Ms. Lukow notes that music teachers tend to be isolated without much opportunity for collaboration.
Through YouTube and other social media channels, music teachers finally have a way to learn together and inspire each other.
Her YouTube page boasts more than 8,000 views from teachers around the country who adopt her techniques in their own classrooms.
RESOURCES: To see some of Kristin Lukow’s creative teaching techniques, visit her YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/kristinlukow