Can I Lead an Early Years Music Time?
Yes, everyone who works in the early years can lead an enjoyable and worthwhile music experience. You just need self-belief and some time to develop your knowledge and skills.
Here are the answers to some questions you might be asking yourself:
Is my voice good enough?
Yes, even if you feel that you can’t sing, your voice is good enough. The majority of songs that should be sung with the under 5s should be simple; they should have a simple tune and rhythm. Confidence in your singing voice is discussed further in my article ‘So you think you can’t sing’ https://musicalabc.simplero.com/blog/2895-so-you-think-you-cant-sing Also remember, the more you sing the more confident you’ll become.
How do I get the children to sing?
This can be a tricky one but with a little imagination you may get even the most reluctant singer to sing. More can be read here about this topic in my article: 'Get those children singing' https://musicalabc.simplero.com/blog/2910-get-those-children-singing
In my Magical Music Time online training course, I discuss how children can be at different levels of development in their singing. When you are teaching a song some children may only join in with a few words and that’s okay; you are giving them the foundations ready for when they come across that song in the future.
Do I need to play an instrument?
No, you don’t need to play a musical instrument for a music time to be a success. Ideally you should have musical instruments that the children can explore. You will need to model playing these so that the children know how to hold and play each instrument.
After 5 minutes into a Music Time I’ve run out of ideas, how can I make it last 20 to 30 minutes?
You need to develop a structure for your Music Time. It is hard to make any whole group activity last more than 5 minutes if you don’t have a simple structure you work to, but variety is key!
- Think about the different type of songs that you could sing; have a range of sitting, action and movement songs/rhymes.
- Instrument time
- Use body percussion to create simple rhythmic patterns: clapping, tapping, stamping
- Listen and respond to music. Let the children listen to a wide range of music from pop, classical, jazz, rap… and let them experience and respond in different ways: movement with or without a prop; sensory props to watch, feel, smell; painting, drawing and constructing…
I worry that I’m going to make a fool out of myself, what if I get something wrong?
So what! I don't mean to sound mean but I want you to know the children really won’t be judging you they just want to have fun with music; I make mistakes all the time in front of children and adults! The key to feeling confident is planning, practice and preparation.
- First create a structure that you work to each week during your music time (I mention this above in how can I make it last 20 to 30 minutes?). This structure will help you but also the children like to have a routine so that they know what is happening next.
- Then plan what you are going to do roughly with a range of activities within your structure; you can leave 1 or 2 gaps for the children’s ideas.
- To give you that confidence practice is going to really help you. You may like to try running through it without the children.
- Lastly make sure you have everything that you are going to need for a music time ready so that you are not rummaging during the session for props. Even hide them so that the children can’t see what’s coming next.
How do I make Music Time fun and get the children wanting more?
The main thing is to make the activities interactive. Try to include songs and rhymes that are: sitting still, have actions or movement, and use props. Have an element of surprise in your Music Time this could be a new activity or extending/altering a song that they know already. For example, when I’m doing the topic 'Our Bodies' we sing the song the 'Hokey Cokey'. A song that all the children know but I ask the preschool children to give me alternative parts of the body that they can move. The responses I’ve had are: blinking eyes, knees, tongue, chin… The children giggle and smile as we all try to move these parts of the body to the song.
A music time should be fun for all involved. The more you do it the more confident you will become. It should become a time that both you and the children look forward to each week.
If you would like more help please >>>CLICK HERE<<< to take a look at the online training I offer.
Happy music making!
- Celebrations (8)
- Composing Music (2)
- FAQ (1)
- Instruments (2)
- Listening to music (5)
- Live Music (1)
- Mathematics (3)
- Mathematics: Number (2)
- Mathematics: Shape, Space and Measure (1)
- Music Area (1)
- Musical Elements (1)
- Music Time (12)
- Nursery Rhymes (5)
- Outdoor Music (2)
- Performing (2)
- PDP (6)
- Props (11)
- Routines (2)
- Schemas (2)
- Seasons (4)
- Senses (1)
- Sensory (3)
- Singing (14)
- The Importance of Music in the Early Years (5)
- Topics and Themes (8)
- Top Tips (1)
- Vocal Play (1)