10 Top Tips for 10 Years
November 2018 marked 10 years since I started Musical abc, my independent music classes for the under 5s. If you don’t know my background, I studied musical composition and then trained as a primary school teacher, with 4- 8 years as my specialist age range, although I spent most of my teaching career in Reception. So, with Musical abc I aimed to use my experience of teaching and music to bring a live music experience to young children and adults in my local area. I have learnt lots over the last 10 years whilst leading my music times. I am going to share with you my 10 Top Tips:
Have more activity ideas planned for a music time than you need as there have been times when I need more ideas.
Be willing to adapt activity ideas on the spot. E.g. change the words in a song to fit the children’s interests.
Have your resources laid out ready as it really helps a music time flow.
Variety is key! A combination of sitting, standing, moving, actions, props, playing instruments helps to keep all children engaged.
Quality instruments last! The children are still playing the instruments I bought 10 years ago.
Carry spares of everything.
- Batteries for fibre optic lights
- Strings for your guitar as it may fall out of the car
- More props than you need as there may be more children than you are expecting...
If you lose your voice don’t try to carry on. I did and it took me 8 weeks to get my voice back.
Don’t always stick to your plan. e.g. let the children choose songs they would love to sing
End of season sales are great for finding bargain props.
Be careful though as they can end up taking over your house; I now have over 1000 props stored around my home.
Save ideas. If you hear a song or a piece of music that you really like, note it down or save a post on social media, as these can be great for future activities.
What I have learnt most over the last 10 years is what a difference music can make to a child. I have seen how it has helped children: become more confident; enthused to move and dance; turn a frown into a smile; share instruments without being asked; spontaneously start singing a song we have learnt when they used to just sit quietly. Music is such a wonderful tool!
A big thank you to all the families and early years settings that I have worked with over the years. I am very lucky to have a job I love.
Happy music making and here’s to another 10 years!
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