The Christmas Concert for 2015, was performed at Annantalo by the children from the Ruoholahti branch of Carousel Nursery School. It is the first time since the inception of the Nursery that the children have performed a Christmas concert at an external location. It was indeed a very momentous occasion for the Nursery School and the children and educators at Ruoholahti in particular.
Preparing for the Concert
Given that Ruoholahti is the biggest and busiest setting of Carousel Nursery School wherein the youngest child is 10 months old and the oldest children are Pre-schoolers (6 years old), it was indeed interesting to watch how children so varied in ages could come together on stage and perform their bit. The children and educators began preparing for the concert well in advance. The theme of the concert was discussed with the children at Circle time and was developed further with their inputs and active involvement. For the younger children participation in the concert involved mainly singing simple rhymes & songs.
In order to make the preparation for the concert a more continuous process the children and educators sang the concert songs at different times of the day for example during Circle time, while dressing up for the park, free play times and even during nappy changing/toilet time for the younger children.
The older children had a much bigger role to play in the concert because not only were they playing a more prominent role on the stage, they were also responsible for getting all the props ready for the concert. In order to accomplish this, the older children spent a lot of time doing art and craft activities to prepare masks, clouds, a big snowman using paper-mâché and many other props. This whole experience of using paint, glue and a whole range of materials was thoroughly enjoyed by the children. Coupled with the experience itself was also the excitement of seeing the props prepared by them being actually used at the concert.
The Concert experience
On the day of the concert all the children put together a great show. While the younger children sat in a circle with musical instruments and sang songs, they also danced if they wished. The older children did their part very well with the gentle support of their educators.
Organising the Christmas concert was not just about putting a great performance on the stage, but it was about the plethora of experiences that could be extended to the children while being part of the whole process. The children experienced the joys of working as a team, they enhanced their listening skills by collaborating do develop the theme of the concert, the songs and rhymes developed their language skills, through various dance movements they experimented with different ways of moving their bodies, some of the youngest children went on stage for the first time and last but not the least the whole nursery welcomed the spirit of Christmas in a truly magical way.