THE PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK is to provide preschools with the materials and techniques to establish a practical and practicable music program.
Here you will find songs, activities, ideas, concepts, strategies, and sample daily curricula to develop and implement a music program for children from ages two to five.
The teacher, however, is EXPECTED to expand on these ideas and techniques. This should be a launching pad for the teacher’s own imagination and creativity. Your music program will be a better one if your teacher is encouraged to grow, explore, and experiment with lyrics, rhythms, styles, techniques, etc.
Note to teachers:
Since most preschools are run on tight, shoestring-like budgets, you will have to get creative, to do more with less, and you probably won’t be compensated for the time you spend on the program – like most teachers. And like most teachers, you will do this for the love of music and children. It will be rewarding in ways that defy easy words.
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
Basically, this book is designed to help you write daily lesson plans for each class. In the section “DAILY PLANNING” you will learn how to construct and structure a plan to keep the children active and engaged with a variety of songs and activities.
In the section “SAMPLE LESSON PLANS” you will find plans for different aged classes that last about twenty minutes. Your school may want a class of a different length. That’s fine. You will only need to adapt the plans to fit your school’s needs.
You will see reference to “the songs” and “the activities”.
These terms are used somewhat interchangeably.
“Songs” can sometimes refer to simply singing, whereas “activities” usually incorporate singing with either gross or fine motor movements.
First, go through the scores.
Play and sing them to yourself out loud.
Get to know the songs and activities.
Make a lesson plan for each class for each day.
Keep your used lesson plans.
This allows you to track which songs and activities you do, and how often you do each one. You don’t want to repeat songs too often as the kids will get bored with them. Keep the plans fresh by introducing new songs throughout the year. It takes several repetitions for the children to learn a new song over time.
Keep your used daily plans in a notebook so that you can refer back to them to make sure that you 1- don’t repeat songs too ofter, and 2 – make sure that you use all the songs available to you.
Understand that you will like some songs more than others, some will be easier for you to perform than others. Some the children will like more than others.
All that is OK.
All the songs and activities have academic, cognitive, physical, musical, and other benefits for the developing young mind and body. This will be discussed later.
THE SCORES The scores contained herein are written for easy performance and interpretation on just about any instrument. The scores are written with melody, chord names, and lyrics. I chose not to use standard guitar chords for a variety of reasons, among them because anyone implementing this program should know how to play the chords on their chosen instrument given just the chord name.
Since most of these songs are either traditional and familiar, or very simple melodically and harmonically, and with the three basic elements (melody, lyrics, chords) the songs can be performed on any instrument by most anyone with relatively rudimentary musical skills.
I (briefly) considered Including a piano score but decided against it for two reasons:
1 – It would have added pages, and cost to the production of this manual, and,
2 - playing the piano removes the teacher physically from the children.
Of course a piano can be employed, however, as far as a score goes, you’ll just have to wing it. Banging out the chords and singing will work just fine, as would playing the melody in unison with your singing.
You can do them in any key that suits your vocal range, but the transposition will be up to you.
Your audience (pre-schoolers) are more reactive to the teacher’s enthusiasm then they are to technical expertise or instrumental virtuosity In other words, you will have more success if you express joy, fun, and enthusiasm, then if you are a seasoned instrumental or vocal professional.
Keep your performances simple.
Easier for you, more relate-able for the children.
THE ACTIVITIES The activities are physical movements that accompany music, usually vocal/lyric-based songs. Some are done sitting down, some are done standing. These also include fingerplays (see chapter “FINGERPLAYS”).
The activities are designed to develop both fine and gross motor skills, flexibility, and strength. Many of the “action songs” have interchangeable movements. This is by design and helps keep the children interested with familiarity of movements in a different contextual musical experience. (doing the same movements in a new song, or what was done sitting adapting to standing)
Since your school may want to emphasize one particular component (i.e., academic, physical development) your program will be unique. The sample lesson plans are designed for a class lasting about twenty minutes. Your school may want a music class of a different length. That’s fine. You will only need to adapt the plans to fit your individual needs.
KEEP TRYING Not everything you try will work the first time, or maybe ever. Sometimes you will try a song or an activity but the kids are not ready for it. Try it again in a month or two. Children develop quickly and what was unworkable at age 36 months, might be successful at 40 months. Anyway, keep trying new things, and new ways of doing old things. If it didn’t work in the past, try it again, or do it differently. As you gain experience with the students and with the program you will adapt songs and activities to your specific strengths and imagination, to your school and its students’ needs. This will make your program unique and will make it fit the individual needs of your school. It is only by trying a variety of things, in a variety of ways, over years that you will make your program the best it can be.
Some things just won’t ever work. . . ever, no matter how hard you try (for years I’ve tried to get the song “Home on the Range” to click with the kids. For some reason they’ve never taken to it, despite by concerted, repeated, and varied attempts.)
Some may think that the material included herein might be too “babyish” for (today’s oh-so-sophisticated) elementary school children, unless of course, this was their first exposure to a music class. Even then, you could probably only use this program as designed in Kindergarten and maybe First Grade. I have used elements of this program with children as old as 4th grade. Things had to be adapted, and I was able to get more “academic” with the older kids and still challenge them both musically and cognitively by incorporating age-appropriate scholastic material and more physically and cognitively demanding activities.
This book however, is designed for preschool aged children.
IN CONCLUSION: There should be enough music, songs, activities, and ideas to create a program, and with an imaginative and inventive teacher your program will be better, more interesting for both the teacher and the students.
A good teacher will build a successful music program.
A great teacher will make the program soar.
The ideal preschool music teacher will:
- be able to read musical notation,
- be able to play an instrument (even a simple one like a ukulele or autoharp),
- have a genuine love of music
(the kids will sense and feed off of the teacher’s passion for music)
- have experience with preschoolers (preferably as a classroom teacher)
- have a vivid imagination, neh, a hallucinatory one
- have the ability to improvise, both with the music, and with the children
(with kids this age you must be able to “go with the flow” –
an experienced preschool teacher would know this and know how to adapt to the fluid situation that is the preschool environment)
- have a desire to continually explore deeper into music and expand the program’s repertoire
(unfortunately this will most likely occur the teacher’s own – unpaid – time.)
- most importantly, have a love and enthusiasm for music that borders on the pathological – and an imagination to match.
Keywords: Wit, Enthusiasm, Imagination, Improvisation, Exaggeration, Repetition, Joy
“Brevity is the soul of wit.” As said by Polonius in Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
Keep it simple. Keep it brief. Everything is more easily consumed, digested, and assimilated, especially for the young, if it is presented in a witty and succinct manner. It works. Resistance is futile.
If the teacher is enthusiastic, that enthusiasm will be contagious to the students. The teacher’s love of both music and children should be plainly obvious to all.
The best way to keep the program interesting for the teacher and the students is to let your imagination run wild. Try new things. Try old things in a new way. If you have a thought mid-song, follow it, or more aptly, let that thought lead you. Trust your instincts
Related to imagination, improvisation is a key element for success in the preschool environment. Simply put, you have to be able to “go with the flow”, both with the music AND with the dynamic of the class. Be the leader in the class, but do not hesitate to follow the children’s lead, if appropriate.
Go big. Go small. Get loud. Get quiet. Go to extremes. Again, trust your instincts.
Related to exaggeration, imagination, and improvisation, silliness is a trait and a technique which touches preschoolers in a way that is primal, fun, and effective.
With repetition comes familiarity, facility, and fluency. Plan your daily class schedule to facilitate learning, and to avoid boredom.
Joy should infuse your music program. The joy that you bring into the class and the joy that the songs and activities elicit from the children should emerge naturally. Joy is created by a combination of all of the above attributes.
Music with young children should be fun. Lots of fun Everyone involved in a preschool music program, teachers and students, and if you’re lucky, some parents, should be having a blast. The children’s enthusiasm toward music will be obvious if the teacher is successful. You’ll hear it from parents as well. Working with children of preschool age is very different than working with older kids, and the program will be better served if the teacher has experience with children under 5 years of age. At this age children’s physical and cognitive abilities vary quite dramatically within the age-span of a classroom. Six months can make a huge difference in the development of a preschooler and a typical class can have a range of up to a year. A classroom group of preschoolers is VERY different than dealing with them one on one, so classroom experience with these kids would be the ideal background, if not imperative, for a preschool music teacher. If your school uses music for other occasions, a Thanksgiving or Christmas/Hannukah program for example, the music teacher may be asked to organize music for it. In that case you may need to find and arrange music for a variety of instruments. Those musical skills can come in handy and are by no means typical for a preschool teacher. Remember, you can always access the skills of your students’ parents – many may have a musical background and other applicable skills – just ask them. I ask to the point of harassment, but that’s the only way to get today’s busy parents involved. Also the fact that a preschool audience is so incredibly non-judgemental it the perfect arena from which to excercise one’s long-dormant musical skills. A music teacher at the preschool level will be more successful if he or she has broad, if not necessarily deep musical abilities. By ‘broad, not deep’, what I mean is that at the preschool level being an instrumental virtuoso on one instrument will not serve your students as well as being able to play a variety of instruments merely adequately. The children don’t recognize, and won’t necessarily benefit from, perfection of execution. They are more influenced by enthusiasm, by joy, by wonder, by silliness, by surprise, by repetition, by the interest inherent in new and exciting music and activities. The teacher should be imaginative, improvisational, a good listener, and enthusiastic. The kids feed off of the teacher’s enthusiasm. If they know that you are having fun, then they will allow themselves the freedom to cut loose and have fun. The other side of that, however, is that sometimes they can get out of control. That is when a teacher’s classroom experience with young children comes into play. The teacher will need to be able to reel them back in and get them refocused on the day’s activities. Probably the two most beneficial characteristics for a music teacher of this aged children are enthusiasm and imagination. If your program showcases these two things both you and the children will be continually engaged. If you are bored, your students will soon be bored as well. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- IMAGINATION AND IMPROVISATION If you are reading this, music has probably been an important part of your life for a long, long time. The world of music (and all the accompanying musical activities) is full of excitement and rife with possibilities for fun and imaginative explorative learning. The teacher will be opening a new and exciting world to these young people; a world with (ultimately) limitless possibilities. And in a preschool setting, what an imaginative teacher can do to introduce, and/or reinforce, musical and academic concepts is pretty limitless. You will be introducing many new concepts (academic as well as musical) to these children. You can do just about anything to achieve your goals. Your imagination can run wild. Pretty much anything goes, because just about everything you do with these children will be new and exciting to them. As the teacher you will get to (or will be forced to) use your imagination in ways even you might not anticipate. improvise with changing lyrics. Use the kids’ names in songs. they get a huge charge out of this. Two Little Blue Birds flying down the hill. After you’ve done this song so that the children know what to expect, change the names from “Jack and Jill” to the names of two children in the class. Do everybody’s name. They will love it. Never talk down to the children. Just because they are young (i.e., have limited cumulative experience) that is no reason to not talk to them as equals. If you establish a high bar, musically, with words-lyrically, syntactically, (you can always explain words that you know they don’t understand), and academically, then they will find long-term interest in what you are presenting and they won’t get bored. Of course if you go too far over their heads, then you’ve lost them before you’ve even begun. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- You may even hear from some parents that they are enjoying the songs and activities that their children have brought from school and are doing at home =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- a willingness and ability to alter songs (lyrics, melodies, activities ) to fit the individual needs, changing lyrics to songs in to fit, for example; holidays or subjects that their classroom teachers are teaching, is a great way to expand your song base. 7 Choosing the right instrument to accompany the class Your voice should be the dominant instrument in the class. Depending on circumstances it may be the only instrument. It’s one that all the children have and can easily use, emulating the teacher. Everyone has one and can readily call upon it in their exploration of music. If it is possible, the use of an instrument to accompany the musical activities will enhance your program. WHY/HOW? _______________________ Hand-held stringed instruments are an obvious choice for a variety of reasons. 1 – inexpensive to purchase and maintain 2 – easy to play 3 – acoustic (no need for electricity) – not too loud for toddlers and babies 4 – easy to transport around the school 5 – you can move and dance with the children and play Probably the two most beneficial characteristics for a music teacher of this aged children are enthusiasm and imagination. If your program showcases these two things both you and the children will be continually engaged. If you are bored, your students will soon be bored as well. Some possible instruments you might consider using are: Ukulele Guitar Mandolin Autoharp Piano A piano is a wonderful adjunct to the program but as the primary accompanying instrument it has disadvantages compared to hand-held stringed instruments (guitar, uke, etc.) This is by no means a complete list of instruments one could use to accompany the activities in a preschool music program, just what may be the most common. INSTRUMENTGuitarUkuleleMandolinAutoharpPianoCost to Purchase (1)$200 $100 $100 $250$1000Cost to Maintain (2)$10 to replace strings every few months$10 to replace strings every few months$10 to replace strings every few months$60 to replace strings annually$250 annual tuningEase of Maintenance (3)VERY EASY Tuning and changing stringsVERY EASY Tuning and changing stringsVERY EASY Tuning and changing stringsEASY Tuning and changing stringsYou will need to hire a professionalManuverability (4)GoodVery GoodVery GoodGoodPoorMisc. NotesSteel strings may be too loud. A guitar’s large size makes moving with the children more difficult.My personal favorite. Small, good volume, easy to play and move around with the kids.May be too loud and high pitched for young ears if played with a plectrum (pick).Pretty easy to learn but slightly harder to learn then uke or other guitar-like instruments. Also a little harder to move around while playing.Using the piano exclusively will separate the teacher from the students. A piano DOES make a nice addition to the program, for certain songs. GuitarUkuleleMandolinAutoharpPiano (1) - Cost to purchase Price listed is the minimum cost for a USED decent quality, entry-level instrument. (2) - Cost to maintain Most instruments require very little in money or skills to maintain. (3) - Ease of maintenance Once you learn how to change the strings, you’re pretty well set. (4) - Maneuverability Your program will be best served if you can move around the room with the children WHILE playing your instrument. Size & portability should be a consideration in your choice of instrument. All of the above-listed instruments have advantages and disadvantages. Let’s discuss them one at a time. Ukulele This is my instrument of choice. (I use a concert sized uke) - It is inexpensive to purchase and maintain. - The uke is easy to learn, especially if you already play a stringed instrument. - It is loud enough to be heard in just about any classroom yet can easily be quiet enough to not frighten or intimidate very young children. - A ukulele can easily be played while jumping, dancing, etc., (without endangering the children or the instrument.) Guitar This is probably the most common instrument available to use. - many people play this as their primary instrument - could be too loud and physically intimidating for infants and toddlers - could be too big to safely and effectively play and move around the class Mandolin - same pluses as the ukulele - same minuses as the guitar Autoharp An autoharp is more expensive to purchase (even used) than other instruments. Though easy to learn, the technique to play is different from other stringed instruments, so the learning curve could be longer. If the teacher already has or plays an autoharp, great, or the school owns one, the teacher could learn to play it with relative ease. A new set of strings costs about $60 (in 2016) and should be changed at least annually. It takes much more time to change the 36 strings of an autoharp than it does the 4 strings of a uke, or the 6 strings of a guitar. Piano has advantages and disadvantages for a program geared to this age of children. - a piano is big and loud - can not be moved easily - children must come to the room where the piano resides - separates the teacher from the students. Of course, a piano is a wonderful instrument to use for some songs/activities, however it’s sheer size and the positioning required to play it remove the teacher from the group and sets him or her, literally, above the class. Not a good way to structure the entirety of a class if you want to engage young children fully. In a preschool musical environment much better results (define goals) are achieved when the teacher and students are on an equal footing. By that I mean when there is no physical hierarchy visible. The teacher should sit on the floor with the children. When everyone sits in a circle there is no discernable “head of the table”. Everyone can see everyone else and the ensuing dynamic contributes to a more engaging environment. More kids want to be involved. Playing an instrument to accompany the activities enhances the program in myriad ways. 1 – reinforces rhythm 2 – reinforces tonality (helps even the teacher stay ‘in key’). 3 – children will learn about the instruments and how sound is generated Depending on the size of the room, the number of children, and the children’s age, a guitar may be too much instrument for a given setting. For young children (babies to age 2), a typical steel string acoustic guitar may be 1 – too loud (young ones can be frightened by the specter and sound of a guitar) 2 – too large (size can intimidate) 3 – too overpowering of the children’s voices In a preschool music class the addition of instruments to the curriculum is essential. You, and the children, will should use a variety of tonal and percussion instruments. At the very least percussion instruments such as sticks, triangles, bells, etc. If budgets allow, you may include xylophones, tone bells, or similar basic tonal instruments. 3 HOW TO DEFINE “SUCCESS” AT THE PRESCHOOL LEVEL To know if your music program is a success, you will need to have established goals for it. Each school and each teacher will define “success” differently. Your school’s individual definition should be intentionally iterated. You will need to have concrete answers for the following questions. What goals do you and your institution have for the music program? What resources will be committed to the program, in time, in finances, and in materials? Until kindergarten you should not really be concerned with the children being proficient and accurate in imitative rhythms, melodies, or knowing musical facts. At the preschool age my goal is primarily to have children develop a love of music. To have fun. To follow a direction. To follow a multi-part direction. To be able to pay attention in a group. To be comfortable contributing to the class. To use their imagination when contributing to the class. To successfully work IN a group and AS a group. To improve both fine and gross motor skills. To reinforce the academic principals being taught in the classrooms. In the process they will develop a sense of melody and rhythm; a sense of “music” (think of a sense of humor). And that is what should be expected at this age. The way that I personally define ‘success’ in the grossest, the broadest way is with an affirmative answer to the following questions: “Do the children love coming to music class?” “Do your school’s teachers tell you that their students look forward to coming to music?” “Do the children ask for the teacher to do certain favorite songs during music class?” “Do you hear the children singing your songs outside of music class?” “Do the students give you unprompted hugs?” “Do parents tell you that their children are talking about music class at home?” “Do parents tell you that their children are singing your songs at home, or ask you what the lyrics are to a specific song?” If the kids are having fun, they will retain what you’re doing. They will be learning both music and the accompanying academic concepts that are an integral part of a preschool music program. Some children, especially the younger ones, will not actively participate in the activities. That’s OK. Rest assured that the songs (at minimum) are sinking into their being. I’ve seen it over and over. The child just sits there, then out of the blue their parent will tell me that their child is singing all the songs. Ahhh, success. Academics Pre-reading Think big picture. If your music program is broad-based, the academic goals will be covered in a naturalistic and joy-filled way. In fact, the students will probably not even realize that they are engaging in pre-reading and other academic activities that reinforce concepts like, rhyming, vowel differentiation, etc. Here is an example of what I consider ‘success’: Two days ago (before I put fingers to keyboard to write this paragraph) I did a song for the first time with a group of 4 year olds. It was a Hap Palmer song called “What Are You Wearing?” The very next day as I was walking down the hall I heard a girl from that class wistfully singing that song. We had done it one time and it had stuck with her. She had enjoyed it so much that it is now a part of her. She will probably not remember that song for the rest of her life but it is a brick in the foundation of her musical being. I have tried to construct a program whose foundation is built on enjoyment frivolity curiosity exploration imitation inclusion If the kids LOVE coming to music class then I have succeeded In a more traditional vein rhythm melody imitation follow multi part direction rhyme gross motor imitation fine motor imitation open ended do not say the last word or phrase of a song and see if the children can complete the lyric PARENTS Parents want their kids doing music because they (rightly) understand the benefits of music education. We know that children actively participating in music helps “wire the brain” in ways that are advantageous later in their academic lives (FIND STUDY THAT SUPPORTS THIS) What they may have trouble understanding is that there is a ‘developmentally appropriate’ time for each stage of musical development, and thus, appropriate musical activities for each age group. Some parents believe (questionably, at least) that if they get their child playing Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier in its entirety as a four-year-old, then they their child will receive a full Julliard scholarship at the age of fourteen, or maybe MIT. Well that may happen, but most likely it won’t – just like most children, even with great coaching and all the advantages money and opportunity can provide, will not end up as a starter in the NBA. I think that at the preschool level founding a love of music should be your goal. Not everyone will be a performer. “Music Appreciation” classes have been around for a long time and are an acknowledged worthwhile and beneficial part of a broad-based education. So if the kids leave you with a positive feeling about music, then you’ve done your job. Instrumental or vocal proficiency is something that can be tackled later in their lives. DELOPEMENTALLY APPROPRIATE If parents want the advantages of a music education, it needs to be developmentally appropriate. At the preschool level, developing a love of music and helping to foster a facility with melody, rhythm, and musical memory (hear a song and repeat it easily) are developmentally what you should be shooting for. Yes, there are programs to teach children the violin at age three using teeny tiny violins. But for most children, will that experience at such a young age actually help foster a life rich in music and all its accompanying __________? If you want a musical child, then music should be an integral part of normal family life; singing, playing instruments, listening to music. Organic, natural, omnipresent. Or will it just make them burn out sooner – after months or years of “practice, practice, practice”? Or will it just be one of the many things to which parents expose their children (when too young to really engage in it productively), as can happen with soccer, ballet, Mandarin, etc.? Consider this: Everyone accepts that most children walk at about one year, talk at about two years, and begin to lose their baby teeth at about five or six years. These are developmental milestones that have been true for centuries (if not millennia). Just because a child reads at age three doesn’t necessarily mean they will be better equipped for academia. By the third grade, studies show, the other children have caught up and they are more or less all at the same academic level. For example: If nothing else I want the children to be --------- asking their teachers and parents, ‘do we have music today? I want them to be looking forward to learning new songs, playing new games. The Various Ages In a preschool I have found that there are three basic groups of age and ability. Of course this is a generalization and will vary depending on how your school’s classes are organized. Basically, it goes something like this; the older they get, the more participatory they are, and the more fun they are having. 1) 1 month to 2 1/2 years old This age group pretty much just watches and listens. They are minimally participatory. Some will clap hands, do very basic movements, and follow some directions. Some may sing a bit. The ABC Song seems to be one of the first they learn, then Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. You can’t expect a whole lot of response from this age of children. If they show happiness when they see you, then you know that you’ve made a positive connection with them. 2) 2 1/2 to early 4’s This is a pretty fun group. Their abilities are changing dramatically throughout the year. They learn quickly and are having fun with all the activities that their rapidly developing skills allow. The older they get during this year, the more participatory they become. 3) 4 and 5 year olds. 4 Learning Through Music (body parts, directions up down next behind through imitating the teacher) The teacher acts out the instructions as an example to the children. Much non-musical material is learned THROUGH musical activities following directions, cooperative play, parallel play, socialization, patience, listening skills, expand attention span, pre-reading: letters, rhyming, blends, vowels, can introduce ANY topic via music much of what you do can be considered as academically ‘pre-reading’ – rhymes letters, blends, etc. parameters - melody, harmony, timbre, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics everything can be related to music by the imaginative and perceptive teacher (rhythm, sound) Never talk down to the children. They are smart. If you’ve worked with children for any length of time you know this already Don’t assume that they can’t handle something. Try. They will surprise you. Speak to them on their level of understanding – with respect, with humor, with ------ establish a routine, especially at the start of class make sure that they know that you are in control don’t make idle threats – if you say, “I will take your sticks away if you bang them”, then do it! Since you will be introducing many new concepts to these children you can do just about anything to achieve your goals. Your imagination can run wild. Pretty much anything goes, because just about everything you do with these children will be new and exciting to them. As the teacher you will get to (or will be forced to) use your imagination in ways even you might not anticipate. (despite the fact that they won’t know that they are learning anything except songs), 5 Setting up the room Getting the children to the music room Circle easy for each to have a turn when going around the circle 6 Planning for different ages many of the benefits of these activities cross ages. However what is a developmentally appropriate expectation for a 2 year old is very different from what one would expect from a 3, or 4, or 5 year old. Some of the benefits that will come from this program are: Look in the Wirtz/Stassenvitch book for more examples Increased attention span Patience (having to wait for their turn) Sometimes an activity will just take too long if everybody in the class gets to do it. Sometimes you will have to limit the number of repetitions of a song and not everyone will get a turn at this activity. That’s OK. Explain to the that only (pick a number) of children will get to do this song, but they may get to do it next time. This kind of preparation can help alleviate disappointment. Older children have an easier time of accepting this type of limitation. This may not work with some ages and classes and in that case the teacher will have to either prepare the class for everyone doing it, OR the teacher can choose not to do that activity with a particular class. It does help develop an understanding and acceptance that you don’t always get a turn and that disappointment is a natural part of life. There are many variables at the intersection of young children and music with which you will have to deal. That is to be expected and utilized for the benefit of the children and to keep the program dynamic and interesting. A few of the these variables are: - The children’s history with music, i.e., what they bring to the class - The learning curve - Physical and cognitive abilities (which naturally change over the course of a year) - Their mood that day - Individual and class personalities and dynamics - The teacher’s mood and enthusiasm DEFINE ARIOSO goals of arioso 1 – make up their own melody 2 – make up their own rhythm 3 – gain comfort being the center or attention (overcoming shyness &/or performance anxiety) 4 - Arioso really only works in Kindergarten Three-year-olds and Pre-k-ers will speak the words, maybe rhythmically, but only a few will actually sing. That’s ok If they are developing comfort with being the only one “performing”, the one on whom the rest of the class’ attention is focused, then progress is being made Young children Ebb and flow of energy, attention span Don’t know how they will come into the classroom – well fed? Well rested? Healthy? 6 Planning for different ages many of the benefits of these activities cross ages. However what is a developmentally appropriate expectation for a 2 year old is very different from what one would expect from a 3, or 4, or 5 year old. Some of the benefits that will come from this program are: Look in the Wirtz/Stassenvitch book for more examples Increased attention span Patience (having to wait for their turn) Sometimes an activity will just take too long if everybody in the class gets to do it. Sometimes you will have to limit the number of repetitions of a song and not everyone will get a turn at this activity. That’s OK. Explain to the that only (pick a number) of children will get to do this song, but they may get to do it next time. This kind of preparation can help alleviate disappointment. Older children have an easier time of accepting this type of limitation. This may not work with some ages and classes and in that case the teacher will have to either prepare the class for everyone doing it, OR the teacher can choose not to do that activity with a particular class. It does help develop an understanding and acceptance that you don’t always get a turn and that disappointment is a natural part of life. There are many variables at the intersection of young children and music with which you will have to deal. That is to be expected and utilized for the benefit of the children and to keep the program dynamic and interesting. A few of the these variables are: - The children’s history with music, i.e., what they bring to the class - The learning curve - Physical and cognitive abilities (which naturally change over the course of a year) - Their mood that day - Individual and class personalities and dynamics - The teacher’s mood and enthusiasm DEFINE ARIOSO goals of arioso 1 – make up their own melody 2 – make up their own rhythm 3 – gain comfort being the center or attention (overcoming shyness &/or performance anxiety) 4 - Arioso really only works in Kindergarten Three-year-olds and Pre-k-ers will speak the words, maybe rhythmically, but only a few will actually sing. That’s ok If they are developing comfort with being the only one “performing”, the one on whom the rest of the class’ attention is focused, then progress is being made Young children Ebb and flow of energy, attention span Don’t know how they will come into the classroom – well fed? Well rested? Healthy? 21 Daily Planning TIME At my school the children are scheduled for 20 minutes of music class twice a week. That is plenty for 3’s and under but I usually try to give the Pre-K and kindergardeners a little more. You will have to adapt this book to your school’s needs and structure. It should not be too hard. THE DAILY SYLLABUS I have about 30 minutes of music and activities planned in case I have to take the class in a different direction. Usually I have extra “get up and move” activities ready in case the class needs it. It is rare that they need or want more static activities. Studies show that children at this age are more xxxxxxxxx with kinesthetic learning. (If you are unfamiliar with Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, you should look into it.) I’ve found that you want to have the children getting up and moving around several Every day’s syllabus should be different. Don’t schedule a repeat of a song too frequently, unless you are teaching that song. In that case do it several times over the course of 2-3 weeks, then return to it with less frequency. Over the course of the year you will be introducing new songs in order to build a deeper repertoire of songs, for both you and the children. Leave them wanting more Structure the class, including deciding how long the class will last, so that the kids are disappointed that it has to end Younger kids (2’s & 3’s 20 minutes) pre-k 25 minutes, kindergarten 25-30 minutes Have a song that they recognize as the last song. Actually establish several songs as ending songs. That way they are forever forced to “be on their toes”, to react to established cues. Twinkle Twinkle Oh When We Clap Feet on the Feet The End (Doors) Finding the balance between doing individual songs too often, and doing them often enough so that the kids learn them, can be tricky. This is one area where you really have to feel your way to best practices for each class. Short songs work best Short lyrical lines, Rhyming Not too many stanzas (2-3 stanzas is plenty) You have to present/teach the song in layers, like you’re building a tower, one block on top of another. For example 1 – play and sing the song to them – an overview and sets the expectation 2 – say the lyrics completely – reinforces what they have just heard. Teach only one stanza per session, or the refrain, which is what they’ll sing most and remember. (it does repeat) With a song like (Oh My Darling) Clemetine*, teach the refrain first, then work on the stanzas. 3 – have them echo the words (of refrain or stanaza only), with no melody and only a hint of the rhythm 4 - singing and playing, one stanza or refrain at a time. 5 – sing each stanza together, but you don’t sing the last (rhyming) word and have them sing it. (this way you will know how many kids have got, at least the end rhyme, which is a pretty good indicator of how much work you’ve got to do. * When all is said and done, even after years of singing it, the children will know the story and be able to sing the refrain. They probably won’t remember the words to all the stanzas, but they will remember that she drowned and how sad a song it is – especially if the teacher plays up this angle. The teacher can emphasize many things in this song, and repeating the things emphasized will ingrain them in the kids’ minds: 1 – “was a miner 49er” - In 1849 there was a gold rush – explain what a miner is and what that was all about 2 – “and her shoes were number 9”- size 9 shoes for women means they have big feet 3 – “she drove her duckling to the water” - teach them about ducks imprinting on humans & other duck facts 4 – “tripped on a splinter” – tripped on a piece of wood on a dock and fell into . . 5 – “foamy brine” is salt water maybe a beach with waves – waves are foamy. Brine is salt water 6 – “but alas I was no swimmer” – impress upon them the importance of learning to swim This type of teaching is possible in many songs. As the children are so young they have limited experience with many things and are ripe for exposure to many things where you can teach; vocabulary, history, science, geography Children are never too young to learn these types of things, as long as you can teach it at their level of understanding. USING MANY OF THE SAME MELODIES throughout your program reinforces these melodies for the children, as well making learning these new songs (actually just new lyrics on a familiar melody) easier to learn. London Bridge is Falling Down Frere Jacques Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (already used as “The ABC Song” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep” Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush My Dog’s Bigger Than Your Dog (Tom Paxton) Skip To My Lou The Farmer in the Dell One Little Two Little Three Little Indians Mary Had a Little Lamb The Bear Went Over the Mountain Itsy Bitsy Spider Did You Ever See a Lassie 9 Improvisation Overview Throughout this book you will be asked to “use your imagination” and “take it from here”. The intersection of children, music, and learning, is ripe with potential and the variety of possibilities of activities is only limited by the teacher’s imagination. This area of education and your students will benefit greatly from you trying new things, in new ways. This curriculum is just begging for you to make it yours. One of the most integral components of music is improvisation. And teaching small children is better (for you and for them) if you incorporate this fundamental element of music into your program. It will make it more fun for both you and the kids. Some things you try will work immediately. Some may require adapting and altering. Some will prove to not work at all. But even in failure you will learn what is beneficial and will work, so the failure is not complete, learning still occurs. Examples Silence is a powerful tool. Use silence for its tension building properties (nature abhors a vacuum) Use silence for its calming qualities (exhale) Use silence for its Tell Stories Tangents Change the lyrics to suit something the kids mentioned You gotta be able to ‘go with the flow’. Kids are unpredictable. A class’s temper may not suit your planned activities. In that case you have to be able to think on your feet (or your bottom since you are probably sitting on the floor). You have to be prepared to change your lesson plan, not just in the middle of the class, but sometimes in the middle of a song. Improvisation is an elemental part of many types of music. It makes the making of music fun, unpredictable, challenging, surprising, and unique. A musician has to think on her feet and react to unplanned stimuli. She may know how a piece will begin, and maybe how it will end, but the great unknown middle part is where the really interesting stuff lies. The same thing can be true of your music class. You know the songs and activities you will be doing. You know You have a pretty good idea of how it will progress. Depending on the mood and dynamic of the class you may have to veer from your planned order of activities. Sometimes the kids may need to get up and move around before you had planned. You have to be ready to alter your schedule. You may need to inject an activity to Surprisingly, if the class is rambunctious, doing a quiet, slow, whispering song/activity can bring them back to a more manageable place. Sometimes a fast, loud, full-of-motion song, which you would think would get their energy out and then they’d be able to focus better, has the exact opposite effect and only rev them up. Only time and experience can inform your judgment as to which tactic will work best on a given day. Children are unpredictable. If your music class has an element of ‘unpredictability’ it can add a layer of fun for the children. Young children have short attention spans. They are easily bored. If you’re going to keep them interested it can’t be the same time after time. It’s not just the songs that have to be different, but once the kids know the songs, in order to keep them engaged you have to keep the songs fresh. Variety is the spice of life. Follow their lead. Ask them for suggestions and use them. If their suggestions don’t fit your trajectory think of a way to use part of it or take it down a related path. You can alter activities by changing the tunes of some activities. Many activities can be done to the “terrific ten” familiar kid songs listed below. All you have to do is sing the song, but with a different melody. All of the below are in 4, so substituting lyrics is pretty easy, and intuitive. You may have to add a syllable or hold one longer, but it all works pretty easily. London Bridge is Falling Down Frere Jacques Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (already used as “The ABC Song” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep” Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush My Dog’s Bigger Than Your Dog (Tom Paxton) Skip To My Loo The Farmer in the Dell One Little Two Little Three Little Indians Mary Had a Little Lamb 9 Reuseable Melodies “The Heavy Seven” All of these songs have melodies that all your children will know, if not now, then by the time the school year has ended. They are all melodies that will be used over and over in many different contexts. These “Heavy Seven” are: All Around the Mulberry Bush Frere Jacques Go Tell Aunt Rhody London Bridge is Falling Down Mary Had a Little Lamb Old McDonald Had a Farm Row Row Row Your Boat Twinkle Twinkle And Honorable mention goes to: Bear Went Over the Mountain Did You Ever See a Lassie 8 Pre-recorded Music Pre-recorded music should be an integral part of your program but it SHOULD NOT make up the majority, or even half, of each session. Live music, as performed by the teacher, makes up the vast majority of this program. I believe that the music that you present to the children should show them (among other things): 1 – That music is human. That it is made by actual people, and doesn’t just come from a box whose buttons one pushes. 2 – That they (the children) can make music. 3 – That nothing is “wrong” when making music. When something unexpected or unplanned (wrong) occurs, all it does is it takes the music to a new and unexpected place – which is good! 4 – that music CAN be altered; have different lyrics, different tempos, different orders, etc. n.b., Something that I ask the kids repeatedly over the course of the year is, “Is it ok to change the words?” They usually begin the year by answering “no”. Your job: have their answer be “YES!” by the end of the year. Over the course of the year you will do songs differently. You will have them contribute their ideas for lyrics, movements, etc. They will LEARN that songs can be malleable. That it’s fine, even commendable, to change things. Of course, nothing changes with pre-recorded music . . .or does it. (see The Freeze, The Boogie Walk, ----------------------------- There is a ton, no make that a ton of tons, of Children’s music out there. Save your money. There’s very little that I have found that can’t be replicated by a teacher/musician with very basic skills. The music that this program uses is very limited. I’ll list the CDs you need to buy and then, the individual songs and how to use them. Greg & Steve Kids in Motion Greg & Steve Kids in Action Greg & Steve We All Live Together Volumes I & II Joe Scruggs The Best of Joe Scruggs Hap Palmer Walter The Waltzing Worm Hap Palmer Early Childhood Classics Hap Palmer Learning Basic Skills Through Hap Palmer (Sally The Swinging Snake) Ella Jenkins Buy Them All ! Ella is a national treasure Her recordings showcase everything that fI think is important amount music for young children. GREG & STEVE - 17 Kids In Motion Animal Action I 2:58 Greg & Steve Kids In Motion Animal Action II 3:03 Greg & Steve Kids In Motion Beanbag Boogie I 3:58 Greg & Steve Kids In Motion Beanbag Boogie II 3:58 Greg & Steve Kids In Motion Body Rock 2:37 Greg & Steve Kids In Motion Body Rock-SHORT 2:02 Greg & Steve Kids In Motion Body Talk 3:31 Greg & Steve Kids In Motion Body Talk-SHORT 2:11 Greg & Steve Kids In Motion The Freeze 2:13 Greg & Steve Kids In Motion We All Live Together Vols 1 & 2 The Boogie Walk 2:25 Greg & Steve The Freeze 2:16 Greg & Steve We All Live Together Vols 1 & 2 The FREEZE-5secSILENCE 2:41 Greg & Steve We All Live Together Vols 1 & 2 If You Feel Like Rockin 1:58 Greg & Steve We All Live Together Vols 1 & 2 Listen and Move 4:55 Greg & Steve We All Live Together Vols 1 & 2 Listen and Move-SHORT 4:12 Greg & Steve We All Live Together Vols 1 & 2 Kids In Action Bop 'Til You Drop 3:05 Greg & Steve Kids In Action Can't Sit Still 3:14 Greg & Steve Kids In Action Can't Sit Still-SHORT 2:34 Greg & Steve Kids In Action Can You Leap Like A Frog? 3:13 Greg & Steve Kids In Action Conga Line 2:54 Greg & Steve Kids In Action Conga Line-SHORT 2:06 Greg & Steve Kids In Action Goin' On A Bear Hunt 4:55 Greg & Steve Kids In Action The Way We Do It 3:39 Greg & Steve Kids In Action The Way We Do It-SHORT 2:21 Greg & Steve Kids In Action HAP PALMER - 6 All The Ways Of Jumping Up & Down 2:54 Hap Palmer Walter The Waltzing Worm All The Ways Of Jumping Up -SHORT 2:12 Hap Palmer Walter The Waltzing Worm The Elephant 2:24 Hap Palmer Early Childhood Classics Dancing With A Stick 2:07 Hap Palmer Sally The Swinging Snake Wiggy Wiggy Wiggles 2:10 Hap Palmer This Is The way we get up In Morning 2:36 Hap Palmer Learning Basic Skills Through The Number March-LONG 3:19 Hap Palmer Learning Basic Skills Through This Put Your Hands Up In The Air 2:22 Hap Palmer Learning Basic Skills Through ELLA JENKINS Good Day Everybody 1:41 Ella Jenkins And One & Two And One And Two 4:23 Ella Jenkins And One & Two Rhythms Around The Chair 4:47 Ella Jenkins And One & Two Jumping With Variations 5:29 Ella Jenkins And One & Two Marching To A Harmonica Melody 2:08 Ella Jenkins And One & Two Sharing 1:10 Ella Jenkins And One & Two My Little Blue Dredle 1:19 Ella Jenkins And One & Two Names 2:15 Ella Jenkins Growing Up with Ella Jenkins I Got a Job 2:12 Ella Jenkins Growing Up with Ella Jenkins I'm Changing 3:19 Ella Jenkins Growing Up with Ella Jenkins Big Bigger Biggest (with Children) 1:34 Ella Jenkins Growing Up with Ella Jenkins Big Bigger Biggest 2:25 Ella Jenkins Growing Up with Ella Jenkins Farmer Brown Had Ten Green Apples 2:52 Ella Jenkins Growing Up with Ella Jenkins Show Me 5:01 Ella Jenkins Growing Up with Ella Jenkins I Wonder Who's Outside My Door 2:12 Ella Jenkins Growing Up with Ella Jenkins Barnacle Bill the Sailor 1:14 Ella Jenkins Growing Up with Ella Jenkins A Sailor Went to Sea 1:39 Ella Jenkins Growing Up with Ella Jenkins A Sea Shell Poem from My Grandpa 1:25 Ella Jenkins Growing Up with Ella Jenkins Singing in the Grapevine Swing 2:06 Ella Jenkins Growing Up with Ella Jenkins Inside and Outside 1:27 Ella Jenkins Growing Up with Ella Jenkins I Think Mice Are Rather Nice 0:31 Ella Jenkins Growing Up with Ella Jenkins Response Songs And Chants On Safari 2:20 Ella Jenkins Jambo And Other Call And I Looked Into The Mirror 3:58 Ella Jenkins Jambo And Other Call And Annie, My Cooking Frirnd 2:49 Ella Jenkins Jambo And Other Call And A Train's A-Coming 2:40 Ella Jenkins Jambo And Other Call And "The Hi Hi Dee Ho Man" (I Know A Man) 2:02 Ella Jenkins Jambo And Other Call And Put Your Instruments Away 0:45 Ella Jenkins Play Your Instruments and Make a This Is the Way To Lead the Band 2:43 Ella Jenkins Play Your Instruments and Make a Stop and Go 3:46 Ella Jenkins Play Your Instruments and Make a A Neighborhood Is a Friendly Place 2:45 Ella Jenkins SCORE OUT and adapt Play Your Insts Make a Pretty Sound 4:46 Ella Jenkins SCORE OUT and adapt Follow The Leader 1:49 Ella Jenkins Songs Children Love To Sing Please Is A Pleasant Expression 3:09 Ella Jenkins Songs Children Love To Sing Ten Green Bottles 1:41 Ella Jenkins Songs Children Love To Sing The World Is Big, The World Is Small 1:54 Ella Jenkins Songs Children Love To Sing JOE SCRUGGS - 3 From “The Best Of Joe Scruggs“ Late Last Night 6:13 Joe Scruggs Late Last Night-1-SHORT 2:20 Joe Scruggs Late Last Night-2-SHORT 2:30 Joe Scruggs Late Last Night-3-SHORT 2:18 Joe Scruggs Put Your Thumb In The Air 2:49 Joe Scruggs Put Your Thumb In The Air (short) 2:30 Joe Scruggs Put Your Thumb In The Air-SHORT 1:53 Joe Scruggs Wiggle My Toe 3:00 Joe Scruggs Wiggle My Toe-SHORT 2:27 Joe Scruggs 11 Scarf Songs Stick Songs Rhythm Instrument Songs Scarf songs are a wonderful way to get the kids moving imitatively. There is so much that they can learn using scarves. 14 Percussion Songs 13 Call and Response, and Echo Songs Ella Jenkins Lots of different songs Younger children do well with echo songs. For songs that have a different, or varying, “response” to the teacher’s “call” the children need to be, generally speaking, at least of kindergarten age. Many echo songs can have fun motions attached to them: Princess Pat 16 Fingerplays 18 Action Songs Some action songs can become fingerplays by just changing the body parts you’re moving. A ‘stand up’ song can be a ‘sit down’ song if you change the ‘legs’ to ‘hands’. This can come in handy if you have a particular subject (a holiday for example) that needs to be included but the kids mood requires a ‘sit down’ rather than a ‘stand up’ song. Most of the songs that I use that are on CD are action songs. This may be because the variety of musical styles, vocals, and instrumentation inspires a wide range of activities Gross motor Fine motor listening skills following multi-part directions memory 15 Seasonal and Holiday Songs There are plenty of songs about Fall and Halloween, a few about Thanksgiving, lots of Christmas and winter songs, a few Hannukah songs, and a fair number of spring-related songs that can be used with preschoolers. If you poke around the internet you can find TONS of songs, with home-made lyrics to the tune of Frere Jacques/Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/ You, as the music teacher, have a very limited time with the children. You want to use it wisely. Since it takes repetition (i.e., ‘time’) for kids to learn songs, teaching songs about seasons is possible, since seasons last, well, a season. Holiday songs however, are a different matter. Holiday songs, unless they are associated with a season, are only really relevant for one day. So, learning songs for a one-day event, with very little song-singing opportunity, makes the effort to teach the songs not really worth the time. Remember your time is limited. Christmas or Hannukah are associated with the winter season AND there are lots of songs from which to choose AND they can be sung over the course of (up to) a month’s time. This makes these songs more ‘do-able’ than for some other holidays. Easter, for example, is one day long, has very few non-liturgical songs (Here Comes Peter Cottontail) so the opportunity for music-making is minimal. For July 4th one would think that patriotic songs, of which there are many, would be ripe for singing. The problem here is that the songs are long, hard to sing, and have very little lyrically to which the children can relate. Patriotic songs are better for older children, elementary school-aged, methinks. Thanksgiving has many season-related songs that can be done, as well as pilgrim and turkey songs. There seem to be very few decent songs about actually giving thanks that are appropriate for preschoolers. There are lots of cheesy lyrically tedious songs to the tune of Frere Jacques or London Bridge that one can find all over the internet, but we want better than that – though those DO have their place in a preschool music program, in small amounts and infrequently. Don’t get discouraged. There is a way to incorporate these types of songs into your music program. 19 Parachute Activities The youngest children with whom I use a parachute are 4-year-olds. The activities require the kids to be able to follow your directions in order to benefit from parachute games. Children younger than 4 don’t seem to have the capacity to restrain their enthusiasm and excitement and are unable to reliably follow your directions. The kids REALLY like the parachute and the use of it in the curriculum needs to be tightly controlled. They get really excited and the activities can get out of control very quickly. I recommend using it only briefly the first few times you bring it out, 3-4 minutes tops. As the students become familiar with the routine of parachute activities, and what is expected of them, you can gradually increase both the length of time with the ‘chute, and the intensity and complexity of the activities themselves. 22 SAMPLE LESSON PLANS RESOURCES Old music books are readily and cheaply available at amazon.com, and eBay.com Folk music centric program Songs for children are best when they 1 – have a limited vocal range (The song “This Land Is Your Land has a range of 7th) 2 – have short melodic motives 3 – are repetitive 4 – arioso echo imitation draw on board and sing what is drawn Ask the kids for suggestions in activities that use movement. GIVE EXAMPLES develop group cooperation follow directions, including multiple-part directions variety of songs and activities. I use over 200 songs over the course of a school year. This seems like a lot, and it is, however many of the songs share melodies. Some of the melodies that are used with different words, in different contexts are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Go Tell Aunt Rhody Mary Had a Little Lamb London Bridge is Falling Down Frere Jacques All Around the Mulberry Bush Old McDonald get the children involved by asking them for suggestions This engenders a v Let them pick the movements used in action songs Let them name the animals in animal songs Ask them what sounds the animal they chose makes Ask them what song they would like to sing There are lots of ways to have them take ownership of the curriculum while the teacher is still in control. Once they take ownership of the music they are naturally more engaged. Losing our musical heritage. It will take a concerted effort from parents, educators, musicians, and a variety of institutions for us to Dr. Marilyn FSU John Feierebend Tom Glazer Greg & Steve Ella Jenkins (a national treasure) Hap Palmer Joe Scruggs ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bruce was a preschool classroom teacher for 17 years, before teaching music formally at the Glenn School for Young Children in Atlanta. Concurrent with that he led folk song sing-a-longs at his children’s elementary school for about 10 years familiarizing himself with the canon that would become the foundation of his music program. Before that, he began his formal musical training when his mother forced him to take classical guitar lessons at the age of 9. (“Thanks Mom for making me do it, and thank you for letting me ‘quit’ when I needed a break). Understanding that his real dream was unlikely, (rock stars not usually being teenaged classical guitarists) he decided to pursue his love of music in college, simply for the love of the subject. He received his BA in music in 1980. Music has been a constant ----- for his entire life. He now plays guitar, ukulele, theremin, mandolin, mandola, hurdy gurdy, penny whistle, and piano (a little). He has worked for decades to spread his love of music to anyone who would listen, as a DJ (college station), as a volunteer parent at his local elementary school, and as a preschool teacher. A creature of his time (the 1970’s), here are Bruce’s ‘heavy 7’, in alphabetical order Ian Anderson, Shirley Collins, Robert Fripp, Les Menestriers, David Thomas, Eberhard Weber, Frank Zappa. 23 RESOURCES RESOURCES Old music books are readily and cheaply available at amazon.com, and eBay.com Folk music centric program Songs for children are best when they 1 – have a limited vocal range (The song “This Land Is Your Land has a range of 7th) 2 – have short melodic motives 3 – are repetitive 4 – arioso echo imitation draw on board and sing what is drawn Ask the kids for suggestions in activities that use movement. GIVE EXAMPLES develop group cooperation follow directions, including multiple-part directions variety of songs and activities. I use over 200 songs over the course of a school year. This seems like a lot, and it may be, however many of the songs share melodies. Some of the melodies that are used over and over, with different words in different contexts for different purposes are. You should know these melodies inside and out, backwards and forwards. If you do an impromptu activity you will probably, instinctively, use one of these melodies almost automatically. All Around the Mulberry Bush The Bear Went Over the Mountain Did You Ever See a Lassie Frere Jacques Go Tell Aunt Rhody London Bridge is Falling Down Mary Had a Little Lamb Old McDonald Had a Farm Twinkle Twinkle Little Star get the children involved by asking them for suggestions This engenders a v Let them pick the movements used in action songs Let them name the animals in animal songs Ask them what sounds the animal they chose makes Ask them what song they would like to sing There are lots of ways to have them take ownership of the curriculum while the teacher is still in control. Once they take ownership of the music they are naturally more engaged. Kids more engaged with activites that the teacher leads, as opposed to CD-led songs. Kids love stories - Losing our musical heritage. It will take a concerted effort from parents, educators, musicians, and a variety of institutions for us to regain this part of our culture that is/has slipping away. It is not only a part of our cultural heritage, but a valuable avenue of learning for reading and social development. Dr. Marilyn _______________ FSU John Feierebend Musical Games, Fingerplays and Rhythmic Activitites for Early Childhood – Wirth, Stassevitch, Shotwell, Stemmler Tom Glazer Greg & Steve Ella Jenkins (a national treasure) Hap Palmer Joe ScruggsKindermusik / Musik Garten ATTENTION SPAN Many of these songs are just too long for young children. Some have parts of them that you may not want to use in a classroom, like when the singer instructs the listeners to “run” (not a great idea in the confines of a classroom). Editing the songs may be helpful. That would be up to you. If you learn to play the songs yourself editing would be easy. If you use their recorded versions (from CD or download) editing will be more problematic(al). I’ve found that for 3 and 4 year olds 2 1/2 minutes is a good length for a musical action song. 4 and 5 year olds can maintain attention and control for a song as long as 5 minutes. Asking 3’s to do a 5 minute long song is, frankly, asking too much. GREG AND STEVE Kids In Action The Way We Do it (shorten) Bop Til You Drop Goin’ On a Bear Hunt (a favorite of the kids) Get Ready, Get Set, Let’s Dance (shorten) Can’t Sit Still (shorten) Can You Leap Up Like a Frog Kids in Motion The Body Rock (shorten) Animal Action 1 & 2 The Freeze Beanbag Boogie 1 & 2 Body Talk (shorten) Tummy Tango We All Live Together Listen and Move (shorten – made into 3 separate versions – mixed up second part) The Boogie Walk The Freeze (“Fall on your back and kick your feet”, “Fall to the ground and roll around” lengthen silences) Kidding Around Copy Cat (shorten) Fun and Games I Can Work with One Hammer (did as a story with no melody) 20 Discipline / Control 24 MISCLLANEOUS One of the few things that’s kids “own”, that they know is theirs and no one else’s, is their name. You can incorporate the kids by name n your songs and activities. A few examples of this follow: 1 - include chord charts for guitar, ukulele mandolin Some song/echos can be done with no melody, just rhythmic talking; Juba This and Juba That A Day in the Life (of a bell) Older kids you can ask to enumerate the course of their day, write it on a black board, then act it out with the bells. Younger kids, you can run the course of the day in any way that you like that works for them. give examples. MAKE UP NEW MELODIES FOR scarf/egg/stick songs don’t forget to add “and stop!” toddlers like unexpected repetition, like after song ends, right hand plays chords spasmodically