Chicken shakes and/or other small shakers
Jinglesticks (beatring / tambourine triangle)
Claves and other soft sounding wooden instruments
Go through the lesson yourself
Memorising the story and: the text is very short and brief and serves more like a reminder.
Setting up instruments and materials
After telling the story you look back on the journey that Clara and the Nutcracker made through the various countries. One of these countries was Russia, where they got acquainted with Russian dance. In it, male dancers make high jumps and other acrobatic moves. Watch 2 or 3 dance videos together. In the first video you recognize the characters from the story. The second one is performed by young children making what look like breakdance moves. The third video perfectly shows the male dancers with their jumps.
Which one of the children knows a special dance move or an acrobatic trick? Invite them to come and show it in front of the class.
After practicing and reading the score (this can still be done without instruments, and you don’t have to do the entire score) the children can play along to the music of the Russian dance through the play along video.
The first video is with a pointer. It turns out that with a slow connection, the pointer isn’t always synchronic to the music. This might be confusing for young children. Explain that it is mostly about listening and about playing along with what you hear and that what you see is less important. Or use the video without the pointer.
The Nutcracker is a ballet from the year of 1892 to music by Pjotr Iljitsj Tchaikovsky.
The original choreography, based on a fairy-tale by German author E.T.A. Hoffmann, was created by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.