School’s Program Spotlight: Abbottson Elementary hits all the right notes

I had the honor recently to visit two of Ms. Wirshing’s music classes. The first class I got to sit in on was one of her 1st grade classes. When I came in, her students were engaged in a lesson where they were reading a book called ‘Zomo the Rabbit’. They were integrating their musical instruments into the story. Different instruments were used to correlate with different characters from the story. The children also excitedly used pantomime to act out the story. This lesson seemed to hold their attention because they had to listen and pay attention when it was their turn to play an instrument. It was also a lesson where students got to use movement and sound as opposed to just reading along. At the end of the class I got to talk to the students briefly about what they liked about their music class. They shared that they enjoyed getting to dance, play instruments and listen to beautiful music. Their enthusiasm about this class was palpable and quite enjoyable to experience.

The next class to come in was the 2nd grade class and they are learning to play violins. Ms. Wirshing shared that the goal for this class is for the students to eventually be able to teach other students how to play the violin. The students came in and sat in a circle facing one another. They each found their violin. Their teacher had a story about each finger to help them remember how to hold the bow. She also had songs that she used to help them remember how to hold the bow to the violin. It was evident that the students enjoyed learning to play and that they were taking great care of their instruments.

After the classes were over Ms. Wirshing gave me a little tour of the school where I got to see how arts integration is being used all over the building. This school is most definitely filled with a lot of talented students. I’m looking forward to visiting again in the Spring for their end of the year performance.

If you are a partner school and you have exciting arts integration projects going at your school please contact Michelle Duberry at so we can highlight all of your amazing work as well!

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