Intergenerational Music Classes

Intergenerational Music Class

Intergenerational Music classes have become the “buzz” at the moment. And it’s for good reason too. Research has shown how the elderly’s well-being declines and that for a lot of residents in Aged Care facility there is a good portion of people who rarely receive visitors.

Since conducting Intergenerational music class from February we adapted the classes to ensure that both the children and the elderly are receiving equal value from the music class experience. Because music education is paramount for children’s developing brains, motors skills and social skills. But equally important music plays a very important role in memory, well-being and encouraging being social for the elderly.

Here are the top factors to ensure the intergenerational music class is successful and beneficial for everyone involved.

The type of music is important.

When developing a music class for children songs that encourage finger play and hand movement are fantastic. At Rhythm Rumble we encourage the children to explore keeping a beat, tempo changes by tapping on tambourines and shaking instruments. As well as teaching children how to use their voices with various methods such as the “invisible whistle” or parachute play.

In regards to music for the elderly we use music from their teenager and 20’s to help them register feelings and memories from their past. Music such as Que Sera sera, Doris Day has been a massive hit. This type of therapy is referred to music from their reminiscent bump and there is strong research that shows how music from this era of our lives has stronger memory recollection.

How to encourage connection

Just because people have a shared reason for attending your intergenerational music class doesn’t mean there will be instant magic in the room. Some people are naturally more reserved and shy when confronted with a room of strangers and some children are also shy and reserved. Over the time Rhythm Rumble has developed games that encourage the children and parents to walk around the room and talk to the residents. Such as encouraging the children to pack away the instruments and playing a musical card game.

Floor Plan Magic

Make the space work for you. Residents are not always mobile, so before the class starts position chairs in a circle. This also acts as a grid for the children not to venture out of! I always ask the parents to sit on the floor to complete a full circle. By doing this the children will be more inclined to participate because Mummy or Daddy are going to play as well.

Music Teacher is paramount.

The Music Teacher is key to having a successful class, they act as the facilitator and moves around the room learning everyones name. A great music teacher can command the attention from their students by using their voice and understanding the limitations of their music class participants so to introduce games and activities that will encourage participation. They should also have a strong musical understanding as be able to turn every experience into a learning experience.

If you found this useful please share

Happy Music Making Lola


Release Your Inner (Singing) Voice

During my time at Rhythm Rumble I have spoken to a lot of adults about their lack of musical talent. It usually is expressed after they have been watching me conduct a music class and with a tinge of insecurity announce “I can’t sing, I don’t have a musical bone in my body!” But I am here to challenge that statement.

The early learning sector is quite knowledgable and passionate about musical education and there is an expectation that Educators incorporate music in their rooms everyday and what I’ve heard from educators is that they aren’t comfortable singing to the children especially if there are other adults around.

It is definitely a cultural challenge, as some cultures have music and dance so embedded in their culture that it is second nature to sing. I recall a moment I was waiting for a meeting and there was a young African woman holding her baby and she was singing to the baby in soft melodic voice. The child was calm and nestled into the mothers neck. It struck me that she wasn’t concerned about me, the stranger that was sitting near by and could hear her. I find the Australian culture doesn’t encourage this openness with singing, it is revered for those with special talents and not for the “common” person.

I also recall when I was a child and singing the National Anthem in the school assembly, I use to belt it out and was loving life when a friend mentioned I was making to much of a “big deal” about enjoying it. It subconsciously squashed the notion that I could sing, and went through the rest of my life singing in the car alone and never in public!

When we refer to parents singing to their children it is insinuated to be in your home as a lullaby, or to help them brush their teeth, not as a general way of life. So I completely empathise when Educators and parents comment after class that they aren’t musical and they can’t sing.

But the truth is we all have a voice and our hearts all beat a rhythm, we just have to pay attention and listen to it. I obviously had to get over the hurdle of singing in public when I started Rhythm Rumble because you can’t teach music to preschooler’s if you don’t sing!

I started with simple songs with a small range, like so many nursery rhymes that you already know. I recorded myself so I could listen back and make sure it was in tune and over time my confidence grew and so did my repertoire. I have a few song ideas here

Fast forward 7 years and I was at the hospital with my 11 year old for a broken finger and my 20 month old who after 4 hours had had enough of hanging out in hospital. In order to settle him I started to sing Inanay (if you aren’t familiar with the song please listen to it here.) Anyway, it worked he relaxed and settled in his pram. The following day my daughter and I returned to the hospital for further treatment, this time I didn’t bring my baby! As my daughter was receiving her treatment the therapist recognised me and said ” oh you were here yesterday with a baby, we all heard you singing and we thought what a lucky baby!” I was certainly taken aback but I’m glad I wasn’t fearful anymore about singing in public because he is a lucky baby.

Can I tell you a secret? The truth is children don’t care if you’re not an amazing singer, they only ever respond if they feel the love. So sing them songs, especially songs from your culture or childhood that have a special place in your heart because that is what will make the most impact.

Happy Music Making

Lola


Top 3 Weather songs for babies and toddlers

Weather is always a topic of conversation where I’m from. Melbourne. If you haven’t heard or familiar with Melbourne it is renown for having Four seasons in One day. So in the spirit of changing seasons, here are my 3 top weather songs for babies and children.

The first song is fantastic in that it explores different timbres the tambourine makes. And just as important it is developing childrens fine motor skills

Song: Fun in the rain

Instrument: Tambourine

(to the tune of “Three Blind Mice”)

Rain, rain, rain (tickle fingers on the tambourine to emulate rain sound)

Rain, rain, rain

Dribble, dribble, sploosh! (Tickle fingers and for (splosh) tap tambourine)

Dribble, dribble, sploosh!

Grab your boots, your coat, and hat, (tap the beat to the music with open hand)

Jump in a puddle and go kersplat!

Stomp about and become a drowned rat,

Rain, rain, rain

Rain, rain, rain.

My second fav song is using a parachute, which can be used for babies all the way to kinder aged children. The song starts out calmly which you can lift the parachute up and down. Then when the “Thunder and rain” verse starts the children can shake the parachute a little more vigourously. Musically it demonstrates to children how to express themselves in non verbal ways and the different dynamics and expressions music contains.


Song: Come Under My Umbrella

(tune of The More We Get Together)
Come under my umbrella, umbrella, umbrella
Come under my umbrella, it’s starting to storm
There’s thunder and lightning and wind and rain
Come under my umbrella it’s starting to storm

Lastly a beautiful Autumn song, which encourages children to slow down, while they work together watching our felt leaves pulse up and down on the parachute.


Song: Autumn Leaves


Instrument: autumn leaves made of felt & parachute
(To the melody of ring a ring a rosie)
Autumn winds begin to blow
Coloured leaves fall fast and slow
Twirling whirling all around
Till at last they touch the ground

I hope they have inspired you to include these songs in your music classes for children. They are a hoot and has a mountain of musical learning.

Happy Music Making

Lola


Teaching children to work together musically

The latest music lesson plan on the Rhythm Rumble list is called “Friends”. I have been toying with the idea for a while but couldn’t put together the idea of how to write a lesson plan without the usual well known friends songs

Such as, “Whats your name”song or Hello song. At Rhythm Rumble we already sing Hello and have just written a beautiful Good Bye song (which i will share here). They definitely have their place but didn’t want to do something every other music class is doing.

Then it came to me, making music is essentially working together to make attractive sounds. What if the lesson is all about working together. A big feat for 2-5 year olds

We are trialling it this week, and have had some amazing reviews from the teachers so far. Here is a glimpse of our favourite songs.

I love an echo song, and this one is so much fun.

Flee Fly Flo song lyrics (ECHO SONG)

Flea!

Flea Fly!

Flea Fly Mosquito!

Oh no no no no Mosquito!

Get that big bad bug with the bug spray!

PSSSSSSSSSSH (spray can sound) 

The more we get together 

instrument: tambourines

The more we get together together together

The more we get together the happier we’ll be

Because your friends are my friends and my friends are your friends 

The happier we’ll be

Repeat with the suggestions below:

The more we tap together

The more we shake together

The more we scratch together 

The more we tap and rest together

Beethoven-Symhony No.5 C minor op 67

The idea for this activity is for the children to hear the famous motif at the beginning of the piece and with their instruments tap or shake the rhythm of the motif.

In the remaining time of the piece the children should sit with their hands behind their backs or on their heads

This is aimed at 5 year olds, although I had a class with 3 & 4 year olds and worked just fine, you just need to fill the “inbetween: time with controlled movement. For example I used rhythm sticks and while we waited for the motif to return, I moved my sticks high and low depending on the dynamics of the music and the children followed.

These activites work in a musical sense of developing their auditory skills, singing together and in tune as well as following directions

I have included how this link to the EYLF

  • EYLF Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing – Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing.
  • EYLF Outcome 4. Children are confident and involved learner
    Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity.
    develop an ability to mirror, repeat and practice the actions of others, either immediately or later
  • ELYF Outcome 5. Children are effective communicators
  • Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes
  • NQS: Areas 1.1 An approved learning framework informs the development of a curriculum that enhances each child’s learning and development.
  • NQS: Area 3.2 The environment is inclusive, promotes competence, independent exploration and

So far I’ve been loving this lesson, hope you enjoy some of these songs too

Cheers Lola


Rhythm Rumble’s Intergenerational music class

I have a 19 month old, who is a cutie patootie and is now at the age when you begin wanting to start activities with them. So in an effort to scratch my own itch , we have started Intergenerational music classes at BlueCross Aged Care, Melbourne conveniently located 3 min drive from my home!

But seriously I was so super excited about the baby music class it will be bringing generations together and connecting people thought music, which is the absolute equaliser.

Haven’t you noticed when you go to a wedding and you know about a 1/4 of the people (if you’re lucky!) and as soon as the band opens up the dance floor, everyone is up and dancing regardless of age, gender, strangers and family all connected by the music.

The requirements of this particular Rhythm Rumble baby and toddler music class was is was multi aged and needed to be super interactive for adults and children.

I rock up with little Z and there are already elderly ladies sitting in the chairs that had been arranged in a circle, some mums on the floor with their children. The age ranged from 8 month to 3 years old. Mr Z thought he was running the show and paraded around the circle smiling to the ladies. My heart was already pumped with joy.

My very talented teacher Virginia did an amazing job, catering to the needs of the children first by singing a nursery rhyme using a puppet and effortlessly moving into a shaking song with egg shakers. The children who could walk, loved the idea of handing out the instrument’s to a “friend” and helping pack away again.

But what I loved the most was the little moments in-between the songs and activities when one old lady, Joyce told me with tears in her eye she has twin great granddaughters up in Queensland. She hasn’t met them yet, only seen photos and this experience has made her feel nostalgic. Another resident had pure joy in her voice when she claimed ” I haven’t seen so many babies in one room in almost forever”

To say I had a wonderful time would be an understatement, the residents and parents made this music class so special, that I cant wait for Fridays.

Happy Music Making

Lola

To find out more about Rhythm Rumble’s classes please visit. https://www.rhythmrumble.com.au/


New Year, New Lesson Plan

Summer holidays are almost at an end, I’m actually writing this while its 44 degrees outside, so I am definitely looking forward to Summer ceasing. Bring back the cool wintery winds!

What this also means is Schools back and at Rhythm Rumble H.Q. I am revising our lessons for the year ahead. We don’t repeat the same lessons every year as it can get tiresome to teach and also tiresome to hear the same songs over and over again for our Educators. Also new trends happen (Anyone heard of Baby Shark??) and new inspirations occur and if we are trying to inspire children to live music everyday, maybe we should be living that mantra and be inspired ourselves. a music program for toddlers and babies needs to be innovative to maintain interest.

The first lesson for the year for our 2-5 year olds is based on the Food theme. There is so many awesome, funny songs based on food, just look at a The Wiggles album and you’ll see food themed songs in abundance. But what I am really looking at with our lesson plans is what musical focus are we teaching?

Taking into consideration that it is the first lesson of the year I take it back to basics and teach the easiest of musical comprehension. Loud and soft or as we like to say here at Rhythm Rumble Forte or Piano. Children already understand this concept – usually opting for the loud option, so during our music classes it can be fun to explore loud and soft and watch them over exaggerate each dynamic.

Here are some of the songs that we are teaching in our Food theme

POP

You put the oil in the pot and you let it get hot 

You put the popcorn in and you start to grin. 

Sizzle, sizzle Sizzle, sizzle Sizzle, sizzle Sizzle, sizzle Sizzle, sizzle Sizzle, sizzle POP! 

We start the poem in a crouched position and sing softly, knees bent, hands on the floor. When we start to “sizzle” we s-l-o-w-l-y rise and increase dynamics until the final POP! when we jump up in the air.

Five Gat Sausages

Instrument: Tambourine

While singing the song, we can shake a tambourine and on the word (BANG) bang the tambourine

Five fat sausages sizzling in a pan

All of a sudden one went BANG!( bang an instrument)

Four fat sausages sizzling in a pan

All of sudden one went BANG

3 fat sausages sizzling in a pan

All of a sudden one went BANG!

2 fat sausages sizzling in a pan 

All of a sudden one went BANG!

One fat sausage sizzling in a pan

All of a sudden one went BANG

Banana Song – Stomp

Peel bananas, peel peel bananas

Peel bananas, peel peel bananas

Chop bananas, chop chop bananas

Chop bananas, chop chop bananas

Mash bananas, mash mash bananas

Mash bananas, mash mash bananas

Stir bananas, stir stir bananas

Stir bananas, stir stir bananas

Shake bananas, shake shake bananas

Shake bananas, shake shake bananas

Eat bananas, eat eat bananas

Eat bananas, eat eat bananas and

GO BANANAS, GO GO BANANAS – Sing loudly

GO BANANAS, GO GO BANANAS

Looking forward to starting the year and meeting our little students in 2019

Happy music making

Lola



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