By Patricia A. St. John, Ed. D.
Teachers College, Columbia University
Grace excitedly tapped away on the wood block as Stephen created a complex rhythm on three rainbow drums he arranged side-by-side, alternating mallets in rapid succession. Like two seasoned jazz musicians, they played off each other’s contributions, responding to the subtle groove each was creating. Slightly off center, Luke tapped the stir xylophone inside and out with rubber and then wood mallets, curiously exploring the difference in sound production. Claire declared, “I’m making an ice-cream cone for you” as she carefully placed a red and purple egg shaker atop a double wooden agogo; Natalie brought me a bowl of ice cream, the stir-xylophone-functioning-as-bowl, filled with multiple egg shakers and topped with a red one serving as a cherry. “I know,” exclaimed Grace, “let’s do the Beatles while we play instruments!” As I…