How to teach Kinder children Call & Response

I truly feel joy and pride today after teaching music to a kinder class to sing in a call and response technique.  Normally the children watch and imitate me, so when I sing they sing, and when I don’t sing, there is crickets.

The complexity of call and response for  a group of 4-5 year olds is a skill we have been working towards all year.  An easier option to expose children to would be an Echo song, where they repeat everything you sing.  This is particularly great for toddler music classes, but by the age of Kindergarteners I have seen incredible skills at understanding and actioning the “Call & response” technique.

We always start the year with learning how to play and rest.   Children in this age group of 3-5 years old love to make sounds and are not necessarily concerning themselves with making a coherent  sequence of sounds.  So at Rhythm Rumble we always start with games geared at encouraging children to “rest” or stop

Over the course of the year we start developing their understanding of the different elements that make music, such as tempo, dynamics, keeping a beat, singing in tune and understanding musical form.  We do this by actively engaging children in various musical games and activities geared towards their developmental capacity.

And it all comes down to this collaboration at the end of the year.

The song we chose this year is called Shoo Lie Loo and it is a very simple song

The teacher sings the call, for example: “Just from the kitchen” and the children respond with ” Shoo Lie Loo” . But to make it more interesting they also have to shake an egg shaker while singing Shoo Lie Loo and then rest while the teacher sings their part.

As usual with this age group repetition is important and we have been learning this song for 5 weeks now, and today it worked a treat.  The children sang their response on time, in tune and shook their egg shakers in unison.

Super proud of my group, and by all accounts all the Rhythm Rumble teachers are feeling like its been a great way to end the year.

Happy Music Making

Lola

 

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3 Teddy Bear songs for children

Teddy Bear theme is almost upon us here at Rhythm Rumble and I like to update my lessons every year, so it has been a whole week of researching the best Teddy Bear songs which have a musical focus.  I know. Fun, right?

The teddy bear theme lends itself to teaching pitch, using “Goldilocks and the three Bears” story as you can easily explain to young children the different voices of the Three Bears.   Papa, Mama and Wee baby bear and how they sound different from a pitch perspective.  Children love doing the Baby voice, ironically! It makes them laugh. it make me laugh too as they have the highest voices of all.

So my latest lesson has included some great teddy bear songs that explore pitch.

Although the first song is not about Teddy Bears I intentionally sing a well known song to encourage the children to sing along with me, and preferably an action song so the quiet introverted children aren’t self conscience about singing in public.  For this example I have used “Head, shoulders, knees and toes” An old classic!

I always start the song by demonstrating the Bears voices and asking the children to echo me, for example Can you say “Hello” in Papa bears voice?  Show me.

Once we have done all three voices we begin singing, and here it is below:

Song: Heads shoulders knees and toes

Lyrics

Sing the song 3 times

First like Daddy bear (low voice)

Sing like Mama Bear  (medium voice)

Sing like baby bear  (high voice)

Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.

And eyes, and ears, and mouth,
And nose.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.

The next song is a major commitment from the teacher it incorporates story telling with music.  There is an element of participation from the children when they chime in with the different voices of the three bears

Such as Papa bear says “Ugh Ugh” in a Bass voice

Mama bear says “Woo Woo”  in an alto voice

And Wee Baby bear says “Yeah” in a falsetto or soprano voice.  Have a go it is actually very cool and the children will be captivated.

Song: 3 bear rap song

There once was a house in the middle of the woods

Where the 3 bears lived

Yeah Yeah
One was the Papa bear (sing in a deep register BASS)

One was the   Mama  bear (sing ALTO)

Once was the  wee bear. (sing falsetto or soprano)

Yeah yeah
along came a girl with long, golden curls.

She knocked on the door but no one was there

She walked right in and had a ball, she didn’t care

Yeah Yeah

Home Home Home came the Papa bear (papa bears voice)

Home Home Home came the Mama bear  (mama bears voice)

Home home home came the wee bear (sing in baby bears voice)

“Who’s  been eating my porridge,” said the Papa bear,  UGH UGH (papa bear voice)
“Who’s been eating my porridge,” said the Mama bear, Woo Woo (mama bears voice)
“Hey, Mama Three Bear, don’t forget the wee bear”,
“Somebody’s broken my chair.”

YEAH !! (baby bears voice)

“Whose been sitting in my chair,” said the Papa bear, UGH UGH.
“Whose  been sitting in my chair,” said the Mama bear, WOO WOO
“Hey, Mama Three Bear, don’t forget the wee bear”,
“Somebody’s broken my chair.”

YEAH !!

“Whose been sleeping in my bed,” said the Papa bear, UGH UGH
“Whose been sleeping in my bed,” said the Mama bear, WOO WOO.
“Hey, Mama Three Bear, don’t forget the wee bear”
“Somebody’s broken my chair.”

YEAH!!

Goldilocks woke up and broke up the party.
“Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye,” said the Papa bear, UGH UGH
(wave hand)
“Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, ” said the Mama bear, WOO WOO
(wave other hand)
“Hey, Mama Three Bear, don’t forget the wee bear”,
“Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye.”

(wave both hands)

YEAH!!

This is a great echo song for young children, for the purposes of teaching pitch the teacher can alter the pitch of the “Hoo Hoo” for the children to echo back the correct pitch.  Remember children learn to sing in tune when they can aurally learn the pitch and sing it back.  Make sure you don’t sing the echo part as the childrens voices will hide behind your own voice and defeats the whole purpose.

Song: Theres a big bear living on a big high hill

Sticks and tap a beat

Theres a big bear living on a big high hill I wonder who it can be

There a big bear living on a big high hill who always answers me

Hoo Hoo (hoo Hoo)

Hoo Hoo (hoo Hoo)

 I wonder who it can be

Repeat singing in different registers and different dynamics

You can watch how it is sung HERE

Well I hope you can use these ideas in your classroom.  Happy Music making

Cheers. Lola


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
Lola

 


Emotion Through Music

I have recently travelled from Melbourne to Adelaide  on a road trip with my two little girls, to see family.  So an estimated travel time of 8 hours resulted in a 10 hour trip due to a MacDonald stop and  many toilet breaks.  Stuck in a car for 10 hours with a 5 and 3 year old was an emotional roller coaster for them and for me!

We had the whole range of emotions from tantrums, tears, excitement and laughter.  and for some strange reason the only way to settle my 3 year old is to sing “The Way We Were” by Barbra Striesand which has the power to lull her into a calm sleep.

So this got me thinking about children and their emotions and the part music plays into this.

Music is a wonderful way for children to experience emotions as well as express themselves.  I have used a game where I ask the children to sing a well known nursery rhyme such as Baa Baa Black Sheep.  I then ask them to sing the song again but with a sad voice, happy voice, angry voice….. you get the point.  Children love expressing themselves and often they request different emotions to sing and is a great way to encourage shy children to get involved in a music class.  Some of the suggestions even surprise me such as singing in a nervous voice.

Another  idea to explore an understanding of music is through movement and classical music.  Classical music portrays emotions on a subliminal level which is great for discussing what children hear and feel.

I usually start an exercise by having the children sitting down and ask them to listen to the piece of music I play.  After 30 seconds of listening I ask them do you think this is happy or sad?  I hand out scarves to each child and ask them to move around the room as though they are feeling sad,happy or angry.  Children will stamp their feet, or flitter around like birds and is really quite beautiful to stand back and watch.

This takes some practice to have the children identify with the music and takes a couple of weeks to comprehend what I am teaching.  There have been plenty of occassions where children will be moving around the classroom listening to a piece of music and say “This is scary” or “I feel like a dinosaur.”

An obvious music selection is to play a minor piece of music to represent sad and a Major piece of music to represent happy.

You can try:

3 Gymnopedies- Erik Satie for sad music

Blue Danube – Johann Strauss II for happy music

As a parent I often drive the kiddies around while listening to the radio and the children often talk about whether this is a happy or sad song.  Identifying emotion in music can be an easy and fun game with children and builds their confidence.  Any type of music works such as pop music, country music, etc.

Just the other day I heard my children playing on the piano and they were hitting the bass keys and quizzing whether the piano was crying or laughing, children never cease to amaze me with their creativity.

The benefit of exploring emotions through music, it to identify minor and major scales and develop their musical ear. Secondly it develops their comprehension skills and focus.  Thirdly teaching emotion through music also improves emotional development and insight and assists your child or class to be  well rounded and emotionally intelligent.

I hope you enjoy these ideas and would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences.