A big part of being a music teacher is to inspire children to fall in love with the process of making music, or else they won’t practice and ultimately accomplish learning to play an instrument.
At Rhythm Rumble our ethos is “to inspire children to live music everyday” and we have many different techniques to ensure our children look forward to their music class and continue on with their music education well and truly beyond kindergarten.
Children are innately musical, they are born with natural music abilities and us adults somehow drag it out of them forever lost in a belief that they can’t sing, dance or play music. All of which is very untrue.
To encourage children to be musical is to develop their confidence and dance freestyle to music. We offer scarves as a prop for children and as we move our scarf around our own bodies we encourage children to listen to the music and move their scarves by shaking them, or throwing them in the air and catching. Children learn quickly that when the music is fast they can move their scarf and body quickly and when the music is soft and gentle they can sway their scarf gently too.
Children are also born with perfect pitch and to keep this skill alive the easiest way is to sing, and preferably sing in a higher voice such as the F key. There is a plethora of childrens music to sing but I would suggest the songs that were sung to you as a child are the best to sing to your children or classroom. The range of notes will be small and you will feel confident in singing the songs you are familiar with. Just know children never judge you on your singing voice but on the connection you make with them.
Lastly a great way to keep children’s musicality burning is to play music games, this is especially good in the classroom situation.
My favourite music games are:
Chi baba: Pass the ball on the beat while singing a song.
Music Painting: Listening to different kinds of music and have the children draw/paint to what they feel.
Rhythmic Simon Says: Teacher pats a rhythm and the children have to pat it back.
So even if you’re not a music teacher or feel musical I’m sure these ideas and activities should be in your confirm zone and easily done with your kiddies.
Tomorrow I am conducting my first class after having my 3rd baby
He is only 3 months old, so it hasn’t been a longtime since teaching but feels forever. I stopped teaching in early June. I feel as though I have changed so much in these last 3 months. Personally speaking my father who I treasured and loved passed away after a long battle with cancer. So when I stopped teaching I wasn’t really relaxing waiting for our new arrival I was travelling to the hospital daily and trying to support my dad with his swift decline.
My mind was far from preparing to have a baby and certainly far from my music classes. The things that brought me joy were put on hold while I started my grieving process. Dad passed away on the 1st July and my little baby Zayne was born 4 days later on the 5th July.
My father was an accomplished musician and song writer and listening to his music has given me solace as I hear him sing and play his bouzouki. I just want to hear his voice sometimes, this has made me cry at the beginning, but now makes me smile. Dad also promised me his bouzouki which I am so very grateful I have and is sitting proudly in my music room.
So tomorrow I am teaching a music class, interestingly enough it is at a Rehab centre which the residents have their children stay with them and I feel like I haven’t taught in “forever” when the reality is it is only 4 months.
I feel altered by these recent events the oldest man i loved and the newest man I love today have changed who I am and I wonder how I will translate that into my music class. I’m excited to go, I miss teaching. It is a guilty self indulgence as I receive more from teaching music than my students do from learning.
I will be singing one of my own songs which my father helped me transpose. The purpose of the song is to teach singing in a Major scale. I have included it below:
Song: Going To The Moon (sitting on floor tap your knees) Get in the spaceship we’re going to the moon, going to the moon, going to the moon Where are we going? We’re Going to the moon, Today 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 ,1 Blast off (jump up) (sing in Major scale) touch Toes (8), knees(7), hips(6), tummy(5), shoulder(4), head(3) house(2), crouch down(1), Blast Off (stretch arms out and fly around the room) Get in the spaceship we’re flying to the moon, flying to the moon, flying to the moon Where are we going? We’re Going to the moon, Today 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 Blast off (walk a slow moon walk) Get out off the spaceship, we’re walking on the moon, walking on the moon, walking on the moon Where are we going? We’re Going to the moon, Today 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 Blast Off (crouch back down to the floor and pretend to be asleep) Get into the spaceship we’re going back home, going back home, going back home Where are we going? We’re going back home going back home going back home
Thanks for listening, and I hope you like the song there is a lot of learning in this piece, such as the movement and physical touch for each step of the major scale, singing and is a lot of fun.