Music Appreciation

shutterstock_128158010Currently during our RHYTHM RUMBLE music class we are using the theme of Jungle to create our musical learning focus.  The theme is a great one for imitating animals and an easy subject matter for young children to connect with.

We have been working all year on developing Childrens understanding of tempo, timbre,  dynamics, and pitch so as the end of the year is nearing, our lessons are a culmination of all these elements. Our main learning outcome is music appreciation and understanding the differences in tempo, dynamics, and intervals.

Music appreciation looks deeper into the logistics of music making and takes a step further,  such as emotional comprehension and how to interpret the sounds with your body and heart.

During this particular lesson we are using 3 pieces to create this understanding

Carnival of the Animals: V Elephants – Camille Saint-Saëns.listen here

Using a scarf it is always best to tell a story for the children to ignite their imagination.

Prior to handing out our scarves I play about 30 secs of the music and ask the children to listen very carefully.  Then I asked them if it a slow song or fast?  Loud or soft?  I always paint a picture with words of a jungle with a big elephant and his trunk.  Lets use the scarf as a trunk.  Can you show me how you would walk like an elephant? and then I replay the music.  This activity works only if there is an opposing piece of music to compare their body movement to which is Ma mère l’oye, for piano, 4 hands (or orchestra), M. 60 – Ravel   

listen here

In stark contrast to moving like an elephant, the next piece of music is more serene and flowing.  Again I create a story of a snake slithering through the long grass.  The children listen to the music and change the way they interpret the music and move their body in line with what they hear.  It is truly magical being a part of the creative process of Children.

Carnival of the Animals: IX Cuckoo in the heart of the woods – Camille Saint-Saëns listen here

has a very distinct motif flowing through the piece.  This activity is aimed at our Kinders.  They sit in a circle and every time they hear the motif they tap their knees and sing the cuckoo sound.  We are working on listening and tapping for a few weeks, and then working up to walking around the room as a cuckoo bird and pausing to sing the motif “cuckoo” sound.  So far it has been working brilliantly as the children sing the interval in perfect pitch and are so in the moment while listening for the cuckoo sound.  I guess this could also be used a a mindfulness activity for the strength it has in keeping the children in the present moment has been astounding to me while I witness it.

Teaching young children how to interpret different kinds of music leads to a greater understanding of creativity. Moving in different ways eg. stomping and slithering like a snake has wonderful affects on their motors skills and creates a greater appreciation and understanding of music.

EYLF Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators – Children engage in a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts.

EYLF Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity – Children feel safe secure and supported.

 

Happy music making

Lola

Advertisements

Kids calming down exercises

During Rhythm Rumble’s music classes they can get pretty hyped up.  Depending on the group you are teaching I have worked out different techniques and stratiegie’s to calm down the class before we leave.

Nothing worse than having a preschool music program come into your childcare that leaves the children hyped up and energised and difficult to transition into the next activity.

So in the interest of Educators and the children I have devised several calming down activities that are simple and effective.

I “inherited” a class that 2 previous teachers were having difficulty handling, so I knew I had my work cut out for me.  There were some very dominant personalities in the class and also very intelligent so boredom was definitely an issue.

During the class there was much chatter going on while I was introducing the next activity and I thought how am I going to get their attention.

So I sang “Eyes on Lola” in a fairly high pitch but not loud.  Some of the children stopped and looked at me.  I consider 75% of the class is paying attention so I continued and said When I sing “Eyes on Lola” you can respond back with “Eyes on Us” and you have to look at my eyes and I will look at all of your eyes.

So we did it again, I sang “Eyes on Lola”‘ and they responded with “Eyes on Us”

Now every time the chitter chatter becomes too much I sing this simple tune and they automatically respond their part.

Criss Cross Applesauce

I have adapted this from a yoga video I saw, and since I know nothing of yoga I thought I would sing a song along with the pose.  This works especially well after a very energetic activity and transitions the children into a different state of calm.

Cross your legs
Ask the children to find their heart
then ask them to rub their tummy
Stretching left arm over body and alternating the right hand over body move
your body move in a swaying motion while singing
“Criss Cross Applesauce” repeatedly (5-6 times)
then in a soft voice say
“Everyone find your heart and take a big breathe in
now breathe out and rub your tummy”
repeat if there is still a lot of movement from the children.
Tapping

This strategy takes patience and trust.  If the children are not paying attention, instead of speaking louder or removing children from the group try this.

Sitting very still start tapping your knees.  There will always be a few children watching you.  Once they start copying you, change the body part for example start tapping your head, and keep changing once you have everybody’s attention.  Then you can give your instruction in a calm voice.  It is most effective if you DO NOT speak while doing the tapping.

Hope these exercises help in managing your preschool class.

Happy music making

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

 


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,
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


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