For more than 30 years, David Bodemann, aka “Mr. B,” has mesmerized children at both Mohawk Country Day School and Mohawk Day Camp with his extraordinary combination of classical music, music theory, rocking beat and zany energy. It was at Mohawk that Mr. B first discovered that very young children could not only appreciate classical music, but understand the foundations of rhythm, pitch intervals and complicated melodies – and love doing it! Hundreds of people – students and parents alike – have returned to thank Mr. B for inspiring a lifelong love of music.
How did Mr. B develop his unique curriculum and style? When he first began at Mohawk, he observed that students moved like butterflies when he played the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s Pathétique on the piano, vroomed like motorcycles as he played the 1st movement, and buzzed like flies during the 3rd. And so began Mr. B’s “Piano pictures” – a way of connecting classical music to familiar concepts, such as “We Are Playing ‘Haydn’ Seek” and “Don’t Forget the Shopping ‘Liszt’.”
By the time students graduate from Mohawk Country Day School, they can not only identify 35 composers, but also recite them in chronological order and recognize several pieces by each.
Music Theory – Rhythm
Students learn musical note and rest combinations in “families,” creating an understanding of rhythm and how it relates to music. Over time, children learn how to hear rhythms and write down their musical notations.
Music Theory – Intervals
With Mr. B, children develop a keen ear for musical intervals – a vital component to singing, reading and understanding music. He uses familiar songs, like the “Star Wars” theme to teach a Major 5th and “Somewhere over the Rainbow” to teach an octave.
Not only does Mr. B use tone bells, guitars, keyboards, rhythm instruments, saxophones, electric guitars, chairs, sneakers – whatever he can lay his hands on to best convey a concept! – he teaches children to make music using the same.
David Bodemann has a Music Education degree from Concordia College and has done graduate work in Special Ed at the College of New Rochelle, as well as graduate work in Music Education at Manhattanville College. Mr. B is a father of three – all of whom are musical – and is married to Mohawk’s very own “Mrs. B,” whom many of you know from our office!
If you wish to contact Mr. B about after-school lessons or to purchase his CDs, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (914) 484-1867. You can also find his music on iTunes, by searching for “Dave Bodemann.”
“I still remember ALL of Mr B’s music!” Ben, age 19