Good Versus Great

Currently I have 3 music teachers working at Rhythm Rumble, interestingly we are naturally reserved, quiet people who have chosen to conduct music classes in a very public forum.

At Rhythm Rumble our classes mostly  entail us to visit Childcare centres and conduct a class between 20-40 minutes with children aged between 6 months to 5 years.  Each age group offers their fair share of  challenges as well as benefits.  And as the main face of Rhythm Rumble I hear all of the feedback about my teachers, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Recently we attended a training day and the theme was “Good Teacher versus Great Teacher.”  The Rhythm Rumble teachers are passionate, talented women but sometimes we lack the ability to be Great.

Firstly what does a great teacher look like?  My version of a great teacher may differ from someone else, but I think what we could all agree on is the ethos of a great teacher is someone who is able to inspire.  Rhythm Rumble’s vision is “To inspire children to live music everyday” and we needed as a group to develop different parts of our character and technique to become inspirational to our students.

what we learnt on this training day was invaluable to becoming Great teachers and also reflective on how we conduct ourselves in and out of Rhythm Rumble.

This is what we came up with:

Good Teacher Qualities

  • Educational
  • Engaging
  • Calm
  • Patient
  • Nurturing
  • Aware fo Childrens Needs


Great Teacher Qualities

  • Teach through play
  • Be creative with sustaining engagement
  • Problem solving and improvising
  • Set boundaries and be respectful and earn respect
  • Be encouraging and kind
  • Know that difficult behaviour is not personal
  • Empathetic
  • Give children achievable goals to encourage self esteem
  • Provide positive reinforcement
  • Have the ability to meet Childrens needs
  • Change your style with different age group and different group.

We have a lot to work towards, and are extremely committed.  But sometimes bringing these points to the surface of our consciousness is half the battle.  As well as being self reflective and assessing ourselves and being open to feedback.

So far all 4 of us are openly assessing ourselves to improve.  Onwards and Upwards



Summer Songs for Kids

When I started this blog it was 42 degrees outside, so it is pretty safe to say we are having a hot Summer.  It has inspired me to write about some summer songs we sing in our classes.

5 little shells is a cute counting song, with a familiar tune, we use tambourines for this song, but can be equally as fun by using your hands in a cupped motion or 5 fingers for the count down.

Song: 5 little shells

5 little shells lying on the shore

crash went the waves and then there were 4

4 little shells down by the sea

crash went the waves and then there were 3

3 little shells smooth as new

crash went the waves and then there were 2

2 little shells sparkling in the sun

crash went the waves and then there were 1

1 little shell left by itself

I took it home and put it on my shelf

The next song, my 10 year old and myself wrote this song.  It has good solid musical learning focus for young students.  The children have to rest while you sing the first 2 lines and then shake tambourine or parachute.  On the word CRASH you can either tap the tambourine or life the parachute

Sung to the tune ofThe farmer in the dell tune

Sandcastle Song:

Standing while holding the parachute

The sandcastle stands very still

The sandcastle stands very still

Until the waves come crashing down


The sandcastle falls down the hill

You can watch me sing it Sandcastle Song

Preparing the Summer lesson plan has been so much fun, another great summer song is Mr Sun by Raffi, if you don’t know it I have included it here to watch Mr Sun.  A big hit in Canada, but not very well known here in Australia it has been an easy song to relate to with a very catchy melody.  I have been listening to my kiddies singing it around the house it has been so contagious.

An obvious choice which I have used in the past in Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons: Summer.  It can create conversation about how Summer feels and sounds.  We take advantage of free dance with scarves with this piece and leave the children to interpret their own movement and “just feel” the music themselves without adult direction.

Summer is all about revitalisation and it certainly has done that to me while preparing the Summer Lesson.  Now I have to go and teach it to our lucky little students.  Can’t wait







My 3 favourite songs to teach

In my opinion the best songs to teach music are always the fun songs.  Subtly teaching children how to sing melodies and using their voice as an instrument in fundamental in learning music.  When teaching preschoolers the nuances of pitch, rhythm, dynamics and pitch the easiest and most effective is songs with simple melodies and body movement.

My three favourite songs to teach children always bring a smile to childrens faces and most of the time the adults too!

Here are my 3 fav’s.

Paki Paki.

This is a Maori song and completely not in English and yet it is so so easy to learn.  I always start by showing the children all the different movements we are going to do and the corresponding word for that movement.

Paki Paki = Clap Clap

Kani Kani = dance

Huri huri = turn around

E Peke = jump

Hula = hula movement

Haka = haka movement

paki, paki, paki, paki tamariki ma
paki, paki, paki, paki tamariki ma

Kani, Kani, Kani, Kani tamariki ma
Kani, kani, kani, kani tamariki ma

Huri, huri, huri, huri tamariki ma
Huri, huri, huri, huri tamariki ma

E peke, e peke tamariki ma
E peke, e peke tamiriki ma

Hula, hula, hula, hula tamariki ma
Hula, hula, hula, hula tamiriki ma

E haka, E haka tamiriki ma
E haka, e haka tamiriki ma

Here is a link of me singing with my little kiddies, such a fun song!

Paki Paki

Oma Rapeti
Another Maori song about a little rabbit.
Oma Rapeti
Oma Rapeti
Oma Oma Oma
Oma Rapeti Oma Rapeti
Oma Oma Oma
Piko, piko, piko, piko,
piko, piko, piko
toro piko
Toro, toro, toro, toro,
Toro, toro, toro
Piko, toro

The hand actions can be seen in my youtube video
Heres the link for you to listen to Oma Rapeti

and my all time fav children’s song is Inanay, an Aboriginal lullaby.

Inanay Gupa wana (clap hands to the beat)
Inanay Gup wana
Ay ay ay oola
oola ay oola ay
Yippee yay yippee yay
Goo wanna Goo wanna (raise hands above head and clap semi quavers)
goo wanna goo wanna
goo wanna

Choo (spray fingers out towards child)

I have a link of me singing this song as well!
here it is Inanay

Theses 3 songs have all the elements of simple melodic tunes, repetition and easy hand and body actions for children to copy. I hope you enjoy singing them with your students

Happy Music making


Christmas songs for Kinder

Christmas is around the corner and I know that Childcare centres and Kinders are gearing up for their Christmas concerts to showcase to the parents what their children have been learning all year long.

Here are some of our favourites for end of year celebrations.

Ring Those Christmas bell
Instruments: Bells
Sung to the tune “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain”
(sing loudly)
We will ring those christmas bells so loud and clear
We will ring those christmas bells so loud and clear
We wil hear the dingle, dingle
when we jingle jingle jingle
We will ring those Christmas bells so loud and clear

(sing softly)
We will ring those Christmas bells so quietly
We will ring those Christmas bells so quietly
We will hear the dingle dingle
When we jingle jingle jingle
We will ring those Christmas bells so quietly

(Sing Fast)
We will ring those Christmas bells so fast and loud
We will ring those Christmas bells so fast and loud
We will hear the dingle dingle
When we jingle jingle jingle
We will ring those Christmas bells s fast and loud

Feliz Navidad
Instrument: eggs
Shake the eggs to the rhythm and rest
Feliz Navidad (rest)
Feliz Navidad (rest)
Feliz Navidad, prospero ano y felicidad
Feliz Navidad (rest)

I want to wish you a merry Christmas
I want to wish you a merry Christmas
I want to wish you a merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart

Song: Little Drummer Boy

Teacher sings the call and the children sing the response ” Pa rum pa pum pum”

Come they told me
Pa rum pum pum pum
A new born king to see
Pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the king
Pa rum pum pum pum,
Rum pum pum pum,
Rum pum pum pum
So to honor him
Pa rum pum pum pum
When we come
Pum pum pum pum
Pa rum pum pum

This song is particularly impressive when the children chime in with their part. We have also incorporated Instruments for the Kinder age group and has worked beautifully.  Equally the children are impressed with themselves as they sing and make music and preform for their parents.

Christmas is also a great opportunity to showcase all the beautiful songs and musical games that have been sung throughout the year.  I have seen some great ideas over the years, I hope these 3 songs can make your “End of Year” celebrations special.

Happy Music Making


What to look for when booking a music program for your Childcare Centre

Over the past 6 years of developing Rhythm Rumble I have had the opportunity to  pick the brains of every Early Learning Educator  I have had the pleasure of dealing with and here are the main reasons how/why they choose a Music Program.

Childcare Educator’s have a backlog of nursery rhymes, finger play and funny kids songs up their sleeves.  Their main concern when hiring a music program is they will hear the same songs they already know. Educators want to learn and be inspired by new ideas.  They need a music program to be innovative and teach musical elements beyond their own capabilities.
At Rhythm Rumble we are constantly researching new songs and music from around the world to teach children and Educators. Educators are able to extend on the new material and be inspired to try new songs and activities.

Secondly the Music teacher is paramount to the music program. If the teacher isn’t charismatic, energetic and great with children the children do not respond and consequently do not learn. An important element to understand though is the energy in the room needs to match the age group of the children. Such as when visiting the Babies Room the babies will not connect well to a teacher with high energy and a loud voice as compared to the kinder groups.  The Rhythm Rumble training is second to none, besides training the curriculum we also gain feedback from Educators and Children by sending the teacher out on free training classes specifically for that purpose and most importantly we listen to the feedback and work on a personal level to improve our approach, our musicality and techniques.

From the feedback we have gathered over the years we have learnt that repetition is paramount to young children’s learning, though it is a fine line between repeating a lesson to consolidate the childrens learning to boring the willies out of them.  Haven’t you noticed how children can watch the same movie everyday for 3 months and exhibit the same amount of enthusiasm EVERYTIME and then in a blink of an eye they won’t have a bar of it. At Rhythm Rumble we repeat each lesson for 3 weeks and move on to a different theme with new songs, games and learning outcomes. Singing the same songs for a whole year is taking the idea of repetition to a whole new level and really not necessary.

If you’re in the market for a new music program at your Early Learning Centre always ask for a trial class so that you can experience the music class and watch how your children respond. Hope these tidbits of information will help you.

Happy music making,

To step or To leap (childrens songs to sing)

Spring is here! The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping and it is a great time to start discussions with preschoolers about Nature, Seasons, New life.  So many topics can be covered in Spring.

At Rhythm Rumble we are starting a new lesson focus on intervals.  An interval is how many steps between 2 notes for example the leap from C to E is a 3rd.  Or a step from C to D is a  2nd.  The easiest way to teach leaps and steps to preschoolers is to SING.

We have found songs with simple repetitive lyrics that are written with leaps and steps. A great to demonstrate the change in notes is to use the body as a visual and physical cue on how to sing each note.  To make it easier to understand I have included some of the songs here below:

Spring Song: Using the tune of The Farmer In The Dell is a familiar tune but also consist solely of 2nd and 3rd’s( in other words leaps and steps)

The Sun is shining bright
The Sun is shining bright
Oh how I love the warmth
The sun is shining bright

The rain is falling down
The rain is falling down
Oh how I love the sound
The rain is falling down

The flowers start to bloom
The flowers start to bloom
Oh how I love the sight
The flowers start to bloom

To view the musical notation you can check it out on my Pinterest page here Farmer In The Dell music

Another great song which is related to Spring is

I’m Bringing Home  Baby Bumblebee, we use castanets instead of hand gestures to link motor skills and tap out the regular beat of the piece.  I have also linked the music notation hereI’m Bringing Home A Baby Bumble Bee  so you can see the leaps and steps the children sing.  The lyrics are below:

I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee
won’t my mummy be so proud of me
I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee
Ouch! he stung me

I’m squishing up my baby bumblebee
Wont my mummy be so proud of me?
I’m squishing up my baby bumblebee
Eww my hands are sticky

I’m licking up my baby bumblebee
Won’t my mummy be so proud of me
I’m licking up my baby bumblebee
Mmmm he’s yummy

Another great idea to teach children to hear the different intervals is to sing solfege

Do Rei Me Fai So etc and assign a body part to each note such as:

Do = feet
Rei= knees
Me = hip
far = tummy
So = shoulders

You could play Musical Simon Says and sing a tune such as Do Do Me (Feet, Feet, Hip)  Children always love a game and is a great way to encourage them to use their voices.

I hope you enjoy our Springtime songs and games

Happy music making


3 ways to promote music making with children

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.