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.


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



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



The Magic of Music


Lately I have been paying particular attention to the effect or affect my music lessons are having on the children that participate in my program.

Recently I attended a Childcare centre and in the group of children aged 18 months to 2 years there is a child who has  special needs.  He regularly attends the class and sits on the carers lap and we sing and pass shaking instruments to him, while the other children giggle or sing along.

But on this particular occasion I sang a beautiful Aboriginal Lullaby called “Inanay” ( if you haven’t heard it before you must! it is truly beautiful and epitomises what children’s music should be.)  Anyway I started to sing and in the corner of my eye I noticed the little boy started to move his body.  The Carer gasped a little, we locked eyes in unspoken wonder that the song had moved this child to react.

I had been attending the Child care Centre for 6 months and he would sit quietly and listen, but today was different it was as though he was attempting to clap along.

The Magic of Music.

Today I conducted a class for a group of babies and while I was waiting for the children to finish their afternoon snack I got to coo at the babies that were waiting on the mat.  I rarely get that opportunity “to play”with the babies because I have to move on to other classes waiting for me, but today they were running behind schedule so I took advantage of the opportunity to play peak- a – boo.  One baby boy started to cry, and instinctively I sung a Greek baby clapping song Palamakia.  His reaction was immediate and began to giggle and smile.

The Magic of Music.

How many times have I played music on my iPod for the Kinder room, and the energy is electric, the children are energised and like a puppeteer pulling the strings, I change the energy in a heartbeat and  sing a song with the children’s eyes watching me intently following my actions and words, they are transfixed for that moment in time.  The music has taken the lead and directed there energy to another place.

The Magic of Music.

So many studies are done about the benefits of music, which there are many.  But some elements can not be measured but only witnessed and felt, and that is called the Magic of Music.

I fortunately witness this on a daily basis and can not fathom a life without music.  It is passed down from generation to generation.  Music feeds the soul, fuels the celebrations and is uniquely human.

So in the spirit of passing down music, I pass these 2 children’s song to you.  The Lyrics for both of the songs mentioned are below:

Inanay Gupa wana
Inanay Gupa wana
Ay Ay Ay Oola
Oola Oola Oala Ay
Yippee Yay, Yippee Yay
Goo wanna Goo wanna
Goo wanna Goo wanna
Goo wah - Choo

Palamakia (Lola's Version)
Palamakia peksete
Ke o babas too erhete
Ke too ferni katiti
Kooloorakia sto kharti