Skip To Main Content
The Gift of Seasons
  • Art
  • Curriculum
  • Nature
Mandi Atweh

As an Early Childhood Instructor of Music at The Saint Constantine School, I get to teach from the lovely Musikgarten curriculum. This beautifully designed and developmentally appropriate curriculum guides students from infancy through Kindergarten. My favorite grade to teach Musikgarten is PreK-4. Called The Cycle of Seasons, this year of curriculum allows the child to explore the changing cycles of nature through music, poetry, and movement.  

We begin the year in late summer by “visiting” the farm and fair, learning poetry about apples, singing songs about farm animals, and anticipating harvest. As September progresses, we look forward to autumn bringing beautiful foliage and fresh, brisk air. The students are excited to glimpse colorful leaves and migrating flocks of birds; we recite poems of pumpkins and sing of Jack-o’-Lanterns. In the coldest months, we learn about winter birds and listen to the sounds they make. We sing of squirrels, collect acorns galore, and pretend to don winter gear and go hiking in the snow (an imaginative feat for us Houstonians).  

Then comes spring, my favorite season of all! As the weather warms and the days lengthen, it astounds me to watch the world of nature bring forth new life. In class, we sing of bugs, birds, and flowers: there is nothing like the squeal of delight a student makes when spotting the first robin foraging for seeds, or seeing the first dandelion poking its little head up out in the field. Beautiful sunshine, fresh green grass, fields of wildflowers, and new life in the garden abound! We learn to distinguish the sounds of baby animals born during this season, and we sing songs and recite poetry that reflect the miracle of the new life happening all around us.   

Teaching this over the years has taught me to slow down and reflect on the beauty of the seasons. The parallels to the liturgical year are never lost on me. In every season—in life and in death—there is beauty to be found. I think this is why I love spring so dearly. As we observe the hibernation of winter, we await the promise of new life to come in the spring. Similarly, as we observe the fast of Lent, we await the promise of the resurrection. Without pain and death, there would be no rebirth and new life.  

That God created a world where even nature points to the truth of His salvific plan is astounding. That He gave us variety in the seasons such that we might anticipate and enjoy them is truly a gift. As I await the coming of spring and yearn for its signs of new life—this year especially, as I also await the birth of my firstborn child—I am filled with gratefulness: for our loving God who created such beauty for us to enjoy, and that I get to be reminded daily of this gift through the simplicity of teaching music to PreK students.