BOONE LIFE: Southern Boone teacher helps students add motion to music

Sunday, December 21, 2008 | 5:00 p.m. CST

ASHLAND — Singing along as music instructor Justin Nabors plays the piano, more than 100 fifth-graders from Southern Boone County Elementary School performed their winter choir concert in Ashland on Dec. 11.

Nabors, a graduate from Central Methodist University, has taught for the Southern Boone County School District for seven years, instructing grades five through 12. The December performance was his first with the fifth-graders, and throughout this school year, the 10- and 11-year-olds have taught him a thing or two.

“The behavioral characteristics of the children are a little bit different, and they learn differently, which I was really not expecting,” Nabors said. “I thought they’d be pretty similar to my sixth-graders, and it ended up being a completely different system for them to be able to retain the songs and notes.”

Adding motion, such as hand gestures or dancing, might be difficult for older students, Nabors said. Incorporating those moves into a choir performance can help younger students memorize lyrics.

“Moving to music is just as important as singing the music,” Nabors said.