Do you let the children perform their own songs?
When I taught in Reception I integrated singing throughout the day. There were also times when the children would ask to sing their own songs. I of course said yes. The children would sing well known songs and change the words, create new songs with words and other times just 'la' or 'hum' a tune.
This is definitely something all Early Years practitioners should encourage.
Children need time to explore sound and their voice: musical play. By doing this they can show you what they know and explore sound which is an important part of their musical development.
How can you develop musical play?
A music area is a great idea. What it this? It is where the children can go to explore instruments and singing independently. It could be a table in your setting or on area on the carpet. You may like to put in resources that you used during a music time session.
You may hear the children singing songs that you have been singing and/or changing them slightly to whatever interests them at that time.
It is worth having a recording device for them to use for example or one for you to use to capture their work. e.g. http://www.mesdirect.com/shops/mes/Products/PD1721687/Easi-Speak-Sound-Station/
A Music Den could be created from a den you are using already in your setting but for that morning/day/week it becomes a Music Den. It is like the music area but has the added benefit of containing some of the sound and it maybe even more inspiring!
Adult Modelling and Child Leading
It is also important for the children to have an adult modelling with musical play and the other way round.
The adult plays with songs and instruments encouraging the children to copy or echo what they have done.
Then the children create songs/sounds and the adult sings/plays back. By doing this you are re-enforcing their ideas. It is also worth sound recording these activities as a way of documenting the children’s development.
I also believe it is important for children to be able to showcase their songs or sounds in front of others. Set aside a time each week, even if it is only 10 minutes, where children can showcase their creations.
Children’s musical creations should be displayed as much as their art creations.
If you would like more help you might like to sign up for my FREE training programme 5 Steps to a Musical Setting with one of the steps being Performing area/den. Just type in your name and email address below and you will be given instant access to the course!
Happy music making!
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