Thursday, September 7, 2023

Basketballs in the Music Room- Nutcracker March

My 4th graders have been BEGGING for another basketball routine, so I promised one before winter break.    The Nutcracker is my favorite so of course I had to come up with one to The Nutcracker March.  

It is a super fun routine with a lot of opportunity to make easier (it's kind of fast!) or have some kids show off.  The basic movements are: 

Nutcracker March Basketball Routine - AABAACAABA

8b- Bounce 2x, Big Toss 

8b- Repeat 

8b- Dribble 4x with Right, 4x with Left

8b- Dribble 2x with right, 2x with left, R, L, R, Catch

8b - Bounce on strong beats. Quarter turn to right each bounce

8b - Toss quickly between hands at eye level 

8b - Bounce on strong beats. Quarter turn to right each bounce

(can do left to change it up if you want) 

8b - Toss quickly between hands at eye level (can also trade with a partner for more fun!) 


8b- dribble quickly and slowly kneel down to the ground

8b-dribble quickly and stand back up 

16b- repeat

*If students can do other tricks like spin the ball on their finger or roll the ball on their arms

behind their back, etc. this is the perfect place to feature those students!

It is also fun to have a partner and switch the basketballs- one doing a chest pass,

while the other does a bounce pass. I like to Switch, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce,

Switch, Bounce Bounce Bounce for the C section. The 3 individual bounces give students

a second to ensure they have control before passing again.

To teach this song I focus mainly on form and the rhythm of the basketballs rather than the rhythm of the song.  Before we get to basketballs, we figure out the form through other movement with this song.  I like to change it up so I use body percussion, parachutes, locomotor movement, etc. so the form is really in the kids brains. When the basketballs finally come out,  we read the rhythm of the basketballs for the A section as in the picture below. 

~ in the picture quarter notes are bounces, and whole notes are a big toss in the air.  The top line quarter notes are two handed bounces and the bottom line alternate hands as indicated by accents. ~

After we learn the A and can successfully do it with the music (I often slow the recording just a bit to help!) we figure out the rhythm of the B section basketballs together (it has eighth notes!).   
While it seems like a lot, this type of routine often comes together in just a few 10 minute portions of classes.  

Some ways to make the whole thing easier include taking out the quarter turns, and using the dominate hand only to dribble during the A section.  

Check out the YouTube Video of me doing the routine: 

Let me know if you use this routine in your classroom or have any questions! 

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