Ascension Parish community photo gallery for May 8, 2014 _lowres

Photo provided by Kathleen Guedry -- Dutchtown Primary School students, from left, Jalen Jones, Wyatt Kersten, Grant Gautreau and Carson McElwee use rhythm sticks in physical education class.

Music by Beethoven, Bach and Brahms is part of physical education classes at Dutchtown Primary School thanks to a grant written by teacher Kathleen Guedry.

Since the first week in October, Guedry’s students exercise to the works of famous composers as they get physically fit.

Through the Ascension Fund grant, Guedry planned and implemented a yearlong integration of music and physical education. Students studied composers and their works, counted beats, identified tempos, and discussed emotions created through music and movement, Guedry said.

Guedry said she used the grant money to purchase a portable sound system, iPod, rhythm sticks and music.

The students were introduced to one composer each week by learning basic facts of his life and several famous works. During December, the rhythm sticks were used to teach the tempo of the songs.

“The final project was creating their own routine using the rhythm sticks and a song of their choice,” she said. “As the year continued, students exercised to the different classical pieces. Their final project was creating a classical music play list that connects to an exercise.”

Guedry’s students worked with partners to compile a week of music and exercises for their play list. The students listed the composer, the song, the exercise with the number of repetitions, and explained why the items were placed together.

Guedry select from the play lists for her daily exercise routines for the rest of the year.

Her students can’t wait to be selected as “Producer for the Day,” she said.

“We love it so much because PE and music are just better together,” fourth-grader Emma Daigle said.

Funds for the grant were provided by Ascension General Fund Endowment Grant through the Ascension Fund. The Ascension Fund is a non-profit organization established in 1991 by the Rotary Club of Gonzales.