A True Classic
A timeless, classic in my house since childhood has been Raymond Briggs' The Snowman. It is not Christmas until we have watched the short film and read the book. This picture is of our original VHS tape (remember those?!?) that parents have allowed me to inherit and continue the tradition with my family and now my students. Yes, you can now buy it in 21st-century DVD format (which I also own) but there is something very special about using the now 25 year old tape, which amazingly still works!
This is the DVD version on Amazon.com if you're interested :)
What I love about The Snowman is the emotion that is conveyed through the music and the gorgeous, hand-drawn animation (in beautiful colored-pencil-on-paper look). It is definitely not just a children's Christmas movie - I find joy in it every year and the film magically transports you back to the wonder of your childhood.
Teaching the Emotion of Music through The Snowman
This film even has a place in the music classroom. You will discover after watching it that there is no dialogue, narration, or speaking of any kind during the film, save the song "Walking in the Air" (more to come on this song next week!). Being 7 1/2 months pregnant and having lots of programs and stuff going on this December, I usually use this film in one grade level as a lesson on music telling a story/filmscores. We use it to discuss how music can sound happy, sad, peaceful, intense and that film music can make you feel the emotions and feelings of a story better than a film without music.
Have you seen The Snowman? What family Christmas favorites do you have?
Have you used this film in your classroom? Or another film? How do you teach the emotion of music? I would love to hear your ideas, comments, and suggestions!!