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

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Benefits of a Music Education

Music Education for children is paramount and essential.  Learning Music has many benefits.  Studies have shown children who participate in a structured music class do better at:

  • children’s language development
  • literacy
  • maths and problem solving
  • Social skills

Incorporating music in your childs life from infancy gives your child a head start to a fulfilling life. This can be done by singing lullabies and finger play.  As your child grows the types of music games can change to action songs and using percussive instruments to tap out beat and rhythms.

Learning music in a structured classroom uses both sides of the brain and forms connections to both sides of the brain, this aids in problem solving and language (reading and comprehension), as opposed to listening to music passively on the radio or iPod.

I have only touched on a few of the benefits of incorporating a music education to your child’s life, there are plenty of positive outcomes and some as simple as creating joy!  there are certainly no negatives to music.

If you want your child to do well in maths, science and reading start with music.  It seems crazy that music as a subject is being cut from Primary schools for lack of funding and more money put into literacy programs when music is the answer.  Knowing all this information, how could you not include music as part of your child’s education?

 


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

 

 


Children’s Music That Won’t Have You Pulling Your Hair Out

Over the last 5 years I have listened to a LOT of children’s music.  Some tacky, some great and a few exceptional pieces of music that leaves you wanting more.

My new favourite Childrens Musician is Anika Moa, her music is beautiful and inspired by the Maori Heritage, and I have been incorporating her music in my lesson plans since I first heard her. I reached out to her and she graciously agreed to share her thoughts and story.

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Both Anika’s parents are/were musos, and grew up in a very musical family, like the jackson 5 but the NZ version of it. She explained how she loved music since she was a toddler and her parents taught her how to play guitar, to sing and how to entertain most of all. Her parents and siblings inspired her to create. Growing up in a pakeha/maori society has made for an interesting musical journey. Anika is an established musician in New Zealand and since having children of her own has now switched to childrens’ music (lucky Us)

So here are the Q’s and A’s

When I was growing up my father is a Greek musician so music was all around me, and I had the sounds of Greece in my lounge room.  What was your childhood like in terms of music, I would love to hear how/why Maori music is important to you. 

Maori music is a really gorgeous, swaying sound. it is gentle and lullaby-ish. I have grown up with it in my schooling, not in my family. I was driven to learn my language at a very young age and along with the language comes the wait as they go hand in hand.  Singing my songs in my native tongue is about teaching kids the importance of language but also melodies create memories, which creates a culture.

What was the catalyst that made you switch to children’s music?

I had twin boys and I sang to them most nights, which led me to write kids music and record it. Of course my kids inspire me greatly but life inspires too and it was SO hard being a parent of twins. it taught me a lot abut myself, some good, some bad but then that inspires stories and then it goes from there.  

What are your future plans in the children’s music forum?

I love touring so that’s what Ill do in the next year or two. There are a lot of child care centres, libraries and big school halls waiting for me to sing in them!!

I have 2 daughters and have been teaching them piano as it seemed like a natural skill to pass on. How are you educating your children with music, and how do they respond.

My sons love drums and guitar and they love doing the Haka at their kindy too. I play music to them every single day and sing to them most days. Music is a part of our life and our heritage so I am subtly helping them and hopefully inspiring them to learn through song. I think all children inherently love music so its no hard task!

I suggest you checkout Anika’s music on iTunes: Songs for Bubba & Songs for Bubba 2 if you want to have a different repertoire than The Wiggles and give yourself and your children a musical experience you will all enjoy.

You could also check out her Youtube Channel Anika Moa YouTube

Enjoy

Love Lola