Children's Programs

Top 5 Programs/workshops:

1) Let’s Write a Song - This multi-day workshop leads students through the process of learning how to write their own songs. Themes and topics are endless... frequently schools will pick a theme that ties in with a specific academic topic in the school’s curriculum. At the end of the program students perform their original song before a selected audience.

2) Connecticut in Music and Song- Students learn about the Nutmeg state through various activities that include songs about CT’s symbols and important historical figures. This popular workshop  immerses the classes in fun and stimulating activities that help them to remember important facts and figures about their home state.

3) Exploring Art Masterpieces Through Music and Poetry- Viewing great works of art becomes an active adventure in this playful, participation-based workshop. Musician, Thomasina Levy leads students through exercises and activities to help students produce musical and written responses to masterpiece paintings. A performance of the students’ creations can be planned as a culminating activity.

4) Native American Studies with Art, Music and Literature - In this workshop, students are exposed to many different activities in order to be immersed in Native American culture. Depending upon the length of the program the children can:
-Make Southwest Native American rainsticks and learn how to play them to Native American chants
- Read selected readings from the book, On the Road of Stars, Native American Night Poems and Sleep Charms. The students will then write their own poems and sleep charms.
- Write their own chants in the Native American musical style, using a pentatonic scale, percussion and Orff Instruments.

5) Let Freedom Ring Concert- Did you know that beginning in 2005, schools that receive federal funds are required to hold an annual educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution on September 17,- the date that the Constitution was signed? This concert includes fun songs and facts that focus on the American Constitution & Connecticut History.

Programs with Children

Children love to create. They value any opportunity they are given to explore and discover the world around them. The objective of every workshop and concert Thomasina presents is to help each child find her/his own creative nature in a nurturing and supportive atmosphere. Many of the following workshops can be created and adapted for children of all ages.

Let’s Write a Song - This multi-day workshop leads students through the process of learning how to write their own songs. Themes and topics are endless... frequently schools will pick a theme that ties in with a specific academic topic in the school’s curriculum. At the end of the program students perform their original song before a selected audience.

Build and Play Your Own Mountain Dulcimer - Children and adults of all ages learn to build and play this deceptively easy instrument.  Students construct and paint their own cardboard/wood mountain dulcimers from kits. Thomasina will then teach the students how to play basic songs on their own mountain dulcimers. This is one of her more popular workshops.

Learn to Play the Mountain Dulcimer - In this workshop, Thomasina will bring ready-made cardboard mountain dulcimers into the classroom in order to allow students to experience the joy of learning how to make music. This workshop is adapted to the needs and time constraints of each school - it can be a one-hour workshop or a series of weekly/daily workshops.

Connecticut in Music and Song- Students learn about the Nutmeg state through various activities that include songs about CT’s symbols and important historical figures. This popular workshop  immerses the classes in fun and stimulating activities that help them to remember important facts and figures about their home state.

Exploring Art Masterpieces Through Music and Poetry- Viewing great works of art becomes an active adventure in this playful, participation-based workshop. Musician, Thomasina Levy leads students through exercises and activities to help students produce musical and written responses to masterpiece paintings. A performance of the students’ creations can be planned as a culminating activity.

Expressing Emotions Through Music and Poetry- In this program, students explore and express a variety of emotions through creative writing, music improvisation, and visual art.  As students create their own unique and imaginative artworks, they will also share their perspectives and advice on how to deal with both positive and negative emotions in our everyday lives. A performance of the students’ creations can be planned as a culminating activity.

Native American Studies with Art, Music and Literature - In this workshop, students are exposed to many different activities in order to be immersed in Native American culture. Depending upon the length of the program the children can:
-Make Southwest Native American rainsticks and learn how to play them to Native American chants
- Read selected readings from the book, On the Road of Stars, Native American Night Poems and Sleep Charms. The students will then write their own poems and sleep charms.
- Write their own chants in the Native American musical style, using a pentatonic scale, percussion and Orff Instruments.

Integrating Arts into the Academic Program- As a former classroom teacher and curriculum developer, Thomasina is eager to work with the classroom teacher in order to design a program that addresses specific academic topics and goals of a classroom. Several different art forms (visual, music and language arts) are integrated into one program.

Earth Day Songs and Activities - Children will be taught songs which honor the Earth and help to instill an understanding of how each child can make a difference as a resident on this planet. Many of the songs she teaches children in this workshop come from the Native American tradition. Activities can be planned which help them to clean up and make the world more beautiful in their immediate environment. Other activities can be planned which teach them to make various instruments from recycled everyday items.

I Am Music/ Music Improvisation- Improvisation is a moment-to-moment experience which allows a student to take a leap from the familiar into the unknown. Music Improvisation is done with the students using drums, Orff instruments, hand percussion instruments, dulcimers, sticks, movement and voices. This workshop is A LOT of fun. It allows children to be exposed to rhythms from around the world and then encourages them to create their own rhythms and present them to the class. This activity encourages group cooperation, listening, creative thinking and self-expression.

Out of the Silence - All art begins with silence. Before a writer puts a pen to paper, she must be silent: before a musician begins his first note, he must be silent. This program integrates Language Arts with music improvisation. It also emphasizes cooperative group skills. This can be a one-day workshop or a several day workshop:
One day- Thomasina will read the story, Listen to the Rain, to the class and have the students discuss the different visual and auditory images the words evoke. Then she will lead them in various Music Improvisation exercises which will allow the children to integrate, compose and perform their own music with the written word.
Multi Day- Thomasina will discuss the art of Haiku poetry. Read some poems to the class and them have the students compose their own Haiku poems. During the next session, she will lead them in various Music Improvisation exercises that will allow the children to integrate, compose and perform their own music with their written words.

Make Your Own Musical Instruments -
This workshop is easily adapted and organized according to the age group of the children. It can be a one-hour or several-day workshop depending upon the needs and interests of the school and children. Many of the following instruments are made from common, everyday items.
Possible instruments:
- Make an Indian Dance Stick
- Build a cardboard mountain dulcimer from a kit
- Make your own Native American Rain Stick
- Make your own percussion instruments from common household items

Toddlers Tunes- This forty-five minute program is for parents and their children under the age of five. The goal of this program is to get children and their parents to have fun as they sing together and learn new songs. Most songs and activities are participatory and quickly paced.

December Holiday Songs and Activities - Children will be taught songs which honor our culture’s diverse celebrations during the winter season. Various items can be created which come from different faiths and beliefs such as Menorahs, advent calendars, African hand drums etc.

Songs from Highlights in American History - Our nation’s history has always been one of struggle for equality and freedom for all peoples. This struggle continues today.  Classes will be presented with words and music for various songs from different events in American history. Thomasina will sing the songs and lead a discussion about the meaning of the songs and how it relates to the events of the time and how they are still relevant today.

International Singing and Dancing Games- In this workshop, children are taught various singing games from around the world. A list of some games include: Che, che koolay, Tango, Lummi Sticks, Three Blind Mice, Lu la, Lorentia Dear, Dr. Knickerbocker, Fanga Alafia, Tue Tue, Buddies and Pals.

Singing is Fun - Singing is a powerful way for children to experience the world. Many of the folk songs from our past are not being passed on to the next generation. Children will be given the opportunity to learn folk songs from various ethnic groups from our nation’s rich heritage.

Thomasina in Concert - This is an assembly concert geared towards children from kindergarten to fifth grade. The goal of each concert is for the children to learn some new songs, sing together and just have FUN.