Do you avoid doing a 'Music Time' because you think you'll get it wrong?

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Anyone can run a music time; you don’t need to be a musician.  All you need is confidence in yourself! Confidence comes with planning, preparation and practice.

Planning

So, where to start? Plan into your week a 20 or 30 minutes ‘Music Time’, depending on the age of the children, to just do music.  Include in that time song and rhymes; rhythm time on instruments or body percussion; and listening to music.  Also ensure there is an element of movement, whether it be through action rhymes, movement songs or moving to music! Next, you need to select the activities for this time. If you choose activities that link to your current topic then there are far more learning opportunities. For example, if you are following the topic Minibeasts, you could:

  •   learn a song that tells the life cycle of the caterpillar (e.g. there’s a tiny caterpillar on a leaf);
  •   which can lead to reading the Hungry Caterpillar;
  •   then maybe a trip to a butterfly farm or using a butterfly kit.

Don’t make it too complicated, choose traditional or well-known songs if you are new to running a ‘Music Time’.  Some of these may have rhythmic elements and movement at the same time e.g. If you’re happy and you know it. Choose pieces of music, for the listening element, that link to your topic. E.g. For the Minibeasts topic, listen to the ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’ by Rimsky Korsakov - The children move around like bees!  

Preparation

Whenever you sing with the children I believe it is best to do it without a tape/CD accompanying you.  To learn the words and tune the children need to hear your voice, not the musical accompaniment.  Also, it means you can stop and start with ease and so not losing the children’s interest.   I have also learnt that short bursts of a song are bests: no more than ~5 minutes per song. So your main preparation, to build your confidence, is learning the songs yourself prior to learning them with the children. Also, make sure you have everything ready before you start: props, instruments, listening music + player  

Practice

The more you do a ‘Music Time’ the more confident you will become and I’m sure you will enjoy this special time with the children. So just keep going, even if you feel the first attempt didn’t go well.  The children want to hear you sing and will not be judging you on your singing.  Most of all have fun!   

How I can help:

If you would like some help with the planning then I have my Online Training:

Magical Music Time 

And for activity ideas: Early Years Music Ideas

Happy music making!

Anne :)

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