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ENTERTAINING KIDS KR STYLE|
Christopher Keithan, a.k.a. Mr. Gym is a physical education teacher during the school-day hours, but his work with children doesn't stop with the clock. He spends his out-of-school hours composing music, writing songs, and entertaining children from the ages of 2-12 KR style - with physical activity.
- Carol Goodrow
Photo courtesy of Chris Keithan |
Kidsrunning.com had the opportunity to interview a P.E. teacher who encourages children to stay physically active through music. In school, he is called Mr. Keithan, but on the stage, he is Mr. Gym.
KR: What kind of programs do you offer to the public?
CK: I have three.
- YOUNG ELEMENTARY PROGRAM
This program focuses on creative movement for children age 2-6. As Mr. Gym, I use guitar, vocals, and unique instruments to engage children in singing, dancing, and exercising.
I integrate literacy into the program through books that focus on movement, song, and dance for children age 2-6.
- SCHOOL AGE PROGRAM
Popular music and dance are integrated with movement games, activities, contests, and dances for children age 7-12.
KR: For the Young Elementary Program do you write your own music? If so, please give usthe names of two songs.
Give examples of the unique instruments you use.
CK: I enjoy writing my own movement based music for children! I've created over 20 original songs in the past couple years. Two of my favorite active songs that I play are called "Moving in Place" and "Knee Slapping". In addition to playing guitar, I play unique instruments during my performances such as an African Djembe Drum and an Australian Didgeridoo.
KR: Which books do you use in your Library Program?
CK: I integrate literacy into my library programs through reading books that introduce songs. For example, a fun book I like to read is called Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees. After I read this book I play a song on my guitar called "Freeze Dance". Another short book that I like to read is called Freight Train by Donald Crews which is a great way to introduce an original song called "Train".
KR: For the school age program. please give us an example of a game, contest, and popular song you might use.
CK: The school age kids have fun playing classic games and contests such as "Musical Circles", Gym Twister, and Sports Limbo. I put a spin on these classic games and discuss the importance of sportsmanship. I also play an original song "Jump in the Rock' n Roll Band" where children play plastic, inflatable air guitar and pretend to be famous rock stars!
Chris Keithan a.k.a. "Mr.Gym" is a children's singer and songwriter from Cromwell, Connecticut. With a degree in physical education and over 10 years experience working with elementary age children, Chris motivates kids to be physically active through music and creative movement. Using his guitar, vocals, and various instruments, "Mr. Gym" takes children on a musical movement journey!
Mr. Gym can been seen performing at fun nights, fundraisers, libraries, day care centers, dance studios, and birthday parties.
Phone: (860) 670-5901 or