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

 


3 Ideas to keep the beat

I attended my childrens school concert a few nights ago, which was very entertaining and adorable.  Each grade got to perform a dance and was very creative.  But the music teacher in me noticed how many children couldn’t find the beat and missed their cue with the dance steps.

To keep the beat, seems such an easy thing to do but really it is a skill that needs to be ingrained from an early age.  Here are some ideas and songs that may help you help your child.

Tideo

This song encourages the child to pass to the child next to them.  During Rhythm Rumble music class we pass the tambourine on the appropriate beat and removes the randomness of passing the tambourine and makes it intentional.

Tideo, Tideo

jingle at the window Tideo

pass one window Tideo

jingle at the window Tideo

Pass two window Tideo

Repeat(pass the tambourine on Pass one window phrase

Chi baba – The Wiggles

We use this cute song and sing the chorus and

Pass the ball to each child for them to feel the beat while singing the song

eventually it progresses to children passing the ball uninitiated

Chi baba chi baba chi baba

enchilada goomba lagoomba

Chi baba chi baba chi baba 

my bambino go to sleep.

I’m a nut

We sing this song using rhythm sticks and tap to the beat and rest.  You can watch me sing this song I’m a Nut

I’m an acorn small and round

lying on the cold, cold ground

please pass and step on me

thats why I’m all cracked up you see

I’m a nut (repeat 3 times)

Singing and tapping or singing and walking helps establish a strong beat keeping in young children, try singing these songs and watch your children step to the beat.

Cheers Lola


Lullabies – Music for Baby

 

I have a new baby boy.  YAY!  He’s beautiful and enchanting and whadaya know he loves it when I sing to him.  He’s 2 months old now and when he likes something he smiles and one of the best ways to make him smile is to sing.

The most common repertoire for babies are lullabies and here are my top 5.

Inanay:

A beautiful Aboriginal lullaby sung about shooing away a goanna.  When i have sung this song in my classes children of all ages are mesmerised by it and it is certainly a lulling kind of song perfect to soothe any crying baby.

Inanay Gupawana

Inanay Gupawana

Ay ay ay oola

Oola Oola Oola Ay

Yippee Ay Yippe Ay

Gowanna Gowanna Gowanna

Choo

Goowanna Gowanna Gowaana

Choo

watch me sing Inanay here

Ah Kounelaki – Greek Song

My father sang this song to me as a child and although it isn’t a lullaby it tells a story of a cheeky rabbit digging holes in the garden and now I find myself singing it to my little boy.  Traditional songs from your childhood are a beautiful way to pass your memories and culture to your children.

Ah Kounelaki Koynelaki < Rabbit>

Xylo pou tha to phas < I’ll give you a little tap>

Mesa se xeno perivoulaki < if you come to my garden?

Tripes yiati tripas < whhy do you dig holes>

Min mou serfronis ti mitoula  < you screw up your nose>

Min mou kounas t’aftia < pull your ears>

Min mou klinis to mataki < and squint your eyes>

Ise san zografia < you’re as cute as a photograph>

Watch here

Good Night Sleep Tight

I wrote this little lullaby when I was a child myself, and now sing it to my children and they love it.

Good Night

Sleep tight

You’re a wonderful baby

Good night, sleep tight

have some happy happy dreams

Good night, sleep tight

you’re a wonderful baby

Good night

Sleep tight. Tonight

Big Yellow Moon

This is more of a poem, but children love positive thoughts before bedtime and encourages peaceful happy thoughts before sleep time.

Big yellow moon shines so bright, (Arms above head in circle shape.)

Glides across the starry night, (Arms move from left to right.)

Looks down at me (Hand shades eyes.)

Asleep in bed, (Hands together at side of face.)

Whispers, “Good night, sleepyhead.” (Forefinger in front of mouth.)

Big yellow moon, your turn is done. (Arms above head move down in front of body.)

Here comes Mr. Morning Sun. (Arms move above head in circle shape.)

I wake up. (Arms stretch out.)

You go to bed. (Hands together at side of face.)

“Goodnight, Moon, you sleepyhead.” (Forefinger in front of mouth.)

Rock a bye baby

its a classic so thought i’d include it sits also a winner when singing and rocking your baby to sleep.

Rock a bye baby on the treetops

when the wind blows the cradle will rock

when the bough breaks the cradle will fall

And down will come baby, cradle and all.

 

Enjoy

 

 


How To Teach 3 Year Olds Music

Music Classes have begun 2 weeks ago, and it has been a a great start to the year. Firstly I have hired another teacher so she has been attending all the classes with me which has been a massive help, as my belly is growing and its getting harder and harder to lift myself off the floor with any gracefulness.

We have been teaching the children about Rest & Play  and Fast and Slow and what a great way to teach children these lessons by using Trains, Planes and Car as the theme.

I had so many ideas for this theme it was easy to get carried away with, so I have narrowed it down and produced a lesson plan for 2-3 year olds, with a learning focus of teaching:  Rest & Play and Presto & Lento

To start the lesson and to get the children singing it is always helpful to use a familiar song such as:  The Wheels on The Bus

To teach children the difference in tempo, we sing “The Wheels on The Bus” in walking speed (Andante).  Then I ask the children to move their wheels slowly (lento) and start to sing in a slow tempo.  The focus the children have on their faces is so intense and can tell they are working really hard at keeping the slow tempo going.  We repeat the same verse, but now we are moving our wheels very fast and singing fast as well.  There are always giggles at this point.

A freeze song is a great way to teach Rest & Play, but I find they are always High Energy songs and not the best formula for conducting a calm and focussed music lesson for 2-3 year olds! Until I came across Lisa Loeb’s “Stop and Go” from her Album Catch The Moon.

You can check out her Album here it is worth a listen to

Next, we move to the parachute, where I demonstrate how to shake the parachute presto (fast)and Lento (slow) and rest(pull the parachute towards yourself).  The songs I sing are:

If You’re Happy And You Know It

If you’re happy and you know it, shake Presto

If your happy and you know it shake presto

if you’re happy and you know it and you really ought to show it shake presto

If you’re happy and you know it shake Lento

If you’re happy and you know it shake Lento

IF you’re happy and you know it than you really ought to show it 

If you’re happy and you know it shake lento

If you’re happy and you know it take a rest

If you’re happy and you know it take a rest

If you’re happy and you know it then you really ought to show it

if you’re happy and you know it take a rest.

And

Row Boat Row Boat

Row boat row boat go so slow (shake parachute slowly)

Row boat row boat go so fast (speed up the shaking)

Row boat row boat the waves are getting worse (shake the parachute fast)

row boat row boat pull it in reverse (pull the parachute towards yourself)

The children’s reaction to this lesson has been engaged and focussed, a mix of giggles and most importantly they have been educated in the difference in rest and play as well as understanding the difference of fast and slow while using the correct music terminology.

Hope you enjoy

Lola


The Power is in our hands

 

As a music teacher I have been thinking of lots of different ways to influence and inspire adults to include music education in their children’s lives.  I mean children naturally love music, but as those children grow into adults the participation rate declines, and adults are more self conscious about singing or the realisation of learning an instrument is actually hard work deters them from learning!

Eventually they don’t include music in their lives, which would be fine but these people have children and then these children don’t get the richness of a musical childhood/life.  I know, I know I’m making it sound very dire but there is research that supports singing to children improves their ability to sing in tune and this has to be done in the first 7 years of their life!  So there is only a small window of opportunity to increase children’s musicality  to its full potential.  Not to say you can’t be musical if you start later in life but your ability to sing in tune is hindered.  OMG! now you see why I’m freaking out.

So as a music teacher what do I do to encourage parents and adults in general to include music in their children’s lives.  Well the most obvious solution is to run dynamic engaging music classes that encourage parents to bring there children every week!

In this day and age lots of children attend Childcare centres, so I took the route of engaging the children through the centre and delivering an awesome music program, which has been an effective way to teach children.  But if you know children, they keep the details of their day pretty secret from Mum and Dad, so it hasn’t ticked the criteria of influencing and inspiring parents for a music education.

So my next solution was to write a children’s story which parents could read to their children but sneakily include a music education within.  Everyone loves books.  I love books, so do my children.  My little tale “Melody Goes To The Spring Fair” encourages the parent and child to clap and tap their way through the story, and to make it all about children, my 8 year old daughter illustrated the book too.

As I’m writing this, there is a news report on the ABC news which is  talking about how music is helping troubled homeless children and giving these children direction and is a light at the end of the tunnel for them.

The power of music is in our hands to pass on to children.  Why is music so important?  well that is probably a question for another Blog post because it deserves all the attention it can receive.

 

Cheers Lola

If you would like a listen to my story you can hear it here:  Melody Goes To The Spring Fair Book ReadingIMG_0249