Music Time Madness
I’m going to be honest with you, not every Music Time I teach goes to plan. I currently run classes for nurseries/preschools and in the past have run parent /carers and children classes.
Parent/Carers and Children Classes
When I ran my parent/carers and children classes, I sometimes liked to think of them as organised chaos. These usually had children between the ages of 18 months to 4 years and I witnessed children doing various things during my Music Time: wandering around, opening and shutting of doors, trying to play with a fire extinguisher (the poor adult was up and down, up and down), pushing chairs around…
I accepted that this was going to happen because I’m working in a large space, the environment is not ideal (lots of doors, stacked chairs…) and some of the children are very young.
The nursery/preschool classes have fewer mishaps. Although there have been occasions when children have refused to get up and move to the music and have just sat in the way, and other times when they sit and don’t sing or say a word.
Children are not going to…. sit still all the time, join in with every activity, sing the words, move to the music… all the aforementioned happen in my Music Times but it never feels like ‘Music Time Madness’.
What do I mean by 'Music Time Madness'?
Music Time has become a time when the same songs and rhymes are sung week after week. The instruments rarely come out as no-one knows what to do with them. It feels like a noisy chaos within the classroom. It is all beginning to feel like it is a pointless activity and it is just being done for the sake of ticking a box to say that it’s been done.
So, how do I stop it from becoming ‘Music Time Madness’?
I have a similar structure I use every week, plan every Music Time, know my expectations of the children and make it fun!
The structure is a constant so that the children, and adults, know what to expect in each Music Time. For example: hello and goodbye song at the start and end, a variety of songs, instrument time and a time to listen to music.
I plan my sessions around a half term theme for example Transport, Animals, Food... These plans include a variety of songs, and different instrument and listening activities. Then I use the half term plan to guide what we will do each week. I don’t always keep to the plan as it depends on how children respond on a particular day as to whether we do some activities or not.
I have in my mind what I expect from the children during each activity that I lead. I don’t expect too much and I don’t spend more than 5 minutes on each activity; this helps to keep them engaged and to retain more information.
Music Time should be fun! The variety of activities instantly aids the enjoyable element of a Music Time; it stops it from being the 'same old same old'. I also ensure that there's lots of interaction between me and the children. Props can make interaction easier and can also help some of the reluctant children to engage.
Music Time should be an enjoyable experience for all involved. If you feel confident and are prepared each week it will make a big difference on your enjoyment; you may even begin to look forward to a Music Time!
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 Music Time. 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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