5 Musical Tips to Start 2018 On Track
Do you currently feel that musical activities in your early years setting are non-existent or lack creativity?
What are your current musical activities?
- Singing a few songs;
- Learn songs for an end of term concert
- Putting a CD on and letting the children listen…
If you feel this is what you are currently doing, don’t beat yourself up! You can make some simple changes and give the children a wonderful and fully rounded experience in your setting.
1. Have a sort out.
What resources do you already have that you could make more use of?
Song and rhyme books: what new songs could you learn? what songs haven’t you sung in the last year?
CD recordings (not just children’s music); let the children listen to a variety of music. What activities could you do whilst they are listening to the music?
Props: puppets, parachutes, fabrics…
What prop could you use with a song or rhyme to:
- bring it to life?
- get those children who usually just sit there joining in?
- get children moving whilst singing?
2. Include music in your routines.
It could be that you have a song/rhyme or music that you play when the children need to tidy up. I have written a blog just on this you may like to take a look here:
You may also like to use music to greet the children when they arrive in the morning or for going home. You may also like to consider have a hello or goodbye song to start and end your day.
3. When planning or organising your week include a time dedicated to music making.
Music is great for aiding learning in other areas of the curriculum but there should also be a time that it is just dedicated to making music; no other purpose than letting the children explore music.
You may like to just start with a 15 minutes slot each week and when you become more confident extend it to 30 minutes. Don’t just limit it to singing/rhymes and sitting still. Make the sessions dynamic (sitting, standing, moving), and include instruments and listening to music too! This time needs to be a magical experience; a time the children can wait to take part in.
4. Keep a record bank of musical ideas.
Sit down and write and organise your musical ideas. You may like to write down song/rhymes and listening material that you have that links to specific themes. Even if your activities are child lead having this bank will enable you to quickly look up an idea. It may take a little time but is worthwhile.
5. Take time to learn new songs and rhymes
Learning new songs and rhymes may sound like a chore but it needn’t feel that way. You only really need to learn 1 or 2 new songs each term. For a child to learn a section from a new song it takes time and a little frequently works best! Depending on the age of the children, that you are working with, it maybe that they will only join in with a certain part of the song as the rest is too difficult. Don’t be tempted to put on a CD and let that do the work for you. The children need you to model the tune and words at a speed that’s suitable for them; many children’s CD’s are too fast! You learn it, teach the children what is age appropriate for them and then when they are ready let them sing along to the track.
I’m sure there is a least 1 of the above that you could start working on now. Some take a little more time and effort but all are really worthwhile. Music is often forgotten but is such an important part of all our lives.
Happy music making!
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