Group classes are energizing but can be intimidating. Hopefully the children will want to participate in our music class. I welcome, and often encourage kid’s requests to songs/instruments and there will be times for sharing their favorite actions to songs and solo singing. It is my hope, that as children feel more comfortable, they will want to contribute/participate. This is often a child’s first time in a group setting and I want to make it a positive experience so they will enjoy participating!
Steady Beat vs. Rhythm of the Music
Steady beat is the constant unchanging pulse present in music. This is different from the rhythm patterns of a specific song (or rhythm of the music). To illustrate a steady beat, tap with each underlined syllable as you sing the song.
Do you know the MuffinMan, the Muffin Man, the Muffin Man
Do you know the MuffinMan, who lives on DruryLane.
The ability to keep a steady beat is developed over time, and can be started with very young children. This skill is required for walking, talking, using a pair of scissors and bouncing a ball, as well as many other abilities. Feeling and moving to steady beat develops a sense of time and the ability to organize and coordinate movements within time. Encourage, don’t impose.
We want to develop a strong sense of steady beat (inner rhythm) within our children. We will do lots of activities to encourage feeling the beat, for example; activities that involve tapping with or without instruments, rocking, marching, dancing, or walking to the beat. I strongly encourage throughout the class and at home to always find the beat! At home provide music or chant nursery rhythms with a strong beat and encourage them to tap along. Recent research indicates that a child with a good mastery of steady beat is much more likely to do well at school than a child who lack this basic co-ordination.
RHYTHM PATTERNS (or the rhythm of the music) are patterns of sound that fit within the steady beat. To illustrate this, tap as you sing each word/syllable of “The Muffin Man”. We work on Rhythm patterns when asked to clap/tap back a rhythm pattern or tap each syllable of a song. The majority of the time we will be working on internalizing a steady beat.
What if my child isn't participating?
Some children will choose to watch rather than participate. Do not worry. We all have different learning styles. Often children that observe will often repeat the activities at home where they feel more comfortable. Most children will eventually participate in class, even if it is in a small way.
We do lots of activities that involve instruments or scarves. Very young children may not want to put the object away at the appropriate time. This is just fine. Since we are always moving onto new activities they will probably loose interest in what they are holding and become more interested in the new activity. You can then put it off to the side until after class, when we can put it in its proper place.
There are many opportunities to participate and your child may not want to participate in all. This is perfectly acceptable. When verbally able, it’s OK to say, “No, thank you”.
It is just fine if your child feels the need to get up and move to the music when the other children are sitting. Only when it becomes a distraction to other children will we try to provide an alternative, appropriate movement.
We will be repeating activities throughout the session to reinforce concepts, to facilitate familiarity and to help your child feel more comfortable in a group setting.
What if my child doesn’t play on the beat?
When asked to play an instrument, or sing only at specific times my child doesn’t seem to want to follow. My child doesn’t seem to be able to match pitches.
Your child will learn beat and pitch competency and to understand directions in their own time. It’s important to provide a nurturing, musical environment in which your child can develop, at their own pace. “Children need to have experiences without expectation or judgment: affirmation of their efforts will support their continued experimentation.” (Heyge & Silick) Children first will experiment and then will eventually start understanding musical goals. They will eventually start observing what other children/adults are doing and will attempt to imitate them.
What if my child is acting out?
If your child is having a “challenging” day it is OK to take your child out of the classroom for a while – they are always welcome back. Remember children have not learned to hide their feelings as we adults have. Their emotions are displayed for all to see. If your child is acting out in an inappropriate way please take him/her out so s/he can calm down and then come back in to finish the class.
“I love being in your music class. You are a great teacher.” Natasha
“Thank you so much for all your work, enthusiasm and inspiration. We love art and music and believe it is integral in the lives of children. Thank you for sharing your talents with me and my family.” Julia
A vast amount of research has shown that music is a powerful medium that impacts children emotionally, cognitively, socially and physically. Designed for early years, Notes to Grow On! preschool music classes bring many developmental benefits to young students:
Overall Music Goals:
♪ Steady Beat & Rhythm of the music
♪ Exploration of singing voice: high/low & long/short sounds
♪ Introduction to a variety of music
♪ Listening Skills
Working on these goals will in turn work on these academic goals:
COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS ABOUT NOTES TO GROW ON CLASSES:
Piano ~ Harp ~ Preschool Music Classes
P.O. Box 2241, Benicia, CA 94510
We will be doing lots of fun activities in our music class, all with musical goals!