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HomeNewsHoliday tradition returns for Macaulay Public School

Holiday tradition returns for Macaulay Public School

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A holiday tradition is continuing at Macaulay Public School after a two-year break.

The last time grade four to eight students picked up a musical instrument was in the fall two years ago. Since then a lot has changed, including who their music teacher is. Brian Andreasen now leads the class as they bang, blow and smash various instruments.

“Our students have been working really hard at learning to read some basic notation, we’ve been playing around with some basic boomwhackers and with our older students we moved on to some xylophones,” he says.

What usually happens at Macaulay around the holidays is the student body packs into the gym for a performance from their more musically-inclined classmates. That’s been cancelled the past two years because of COVID-19 concerns. It isn’t happening again this year, but Andreasen got creative: he had each of his five classroom cohorts record a Christmas tune, then played it over the school’s public address system during the lunch break. 

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He also made the call to send the MP3 files to the student’s family members. 

“What better time to get prepared for the holiday season than to bring some joy and light to our community,” he says. 

Andresen says they recorded five songs, including Carol of the Bells with one of his grade seven and eight classes:

“Mr. Andreasen is an awesome music teacher,” says grade five student Deacon Collis. 

He was one of the kids playing the boomwhackers which is a percussion instrument. A handful of lightweight, often colourful, tubes of different lengths are set up. Because they are all different sizes, they make different sounds depending on how hard and where they get whacked.

“It’s an awesome instrument,” Collis gleefully says. 

The older students were playing the xylophone. One of those students was eighth-grader Sadie Henry. She says she’s been playing music since the second grade and wants to keep going. She got t

he chance to play the clarinet in fifth grade and hopes to be able to play it again.

“We had lots of extra time to practice,” she says. Being that school can be hectic for some at the best of times, Henry says everyone was more than willing to work together to help those who didn’t have a lot of practice time get up to speed.

“It’s just great to hear music again at school,” Andreasen says.

He credits Macaulay’s former music teachers Marcia Delgado and Barb Leek for setting the students up for success. “Hats off to them,” Andreasen says. 

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