Whew – all done with the hearts and flowers, but Miss Carole’s still singing and dancing! WHY? Because music lifts my mood, increases my energy and gives my brain and body a workout!
Through my company, MACARONI SOUP, I sing, dance and learn with teachers, parents, librarians, performers, and CHILDREN on a daily basis. How lucky can a person get?!?
This month I’d like to talk a little about what makes a song or musical activity developmentally appropriate for Early Childhood students?
- Is it FUN? It should be!
- Does it help a student DEVELOP SKILLS? I sure hope so!
- Does it ENCOURAGE APPROPRIATE SOCIAL INTERACTION AND SPATIAL AWARENESS? Darn tootin’!
In over 20 years of teaching music and movement I’ve found that the most successful music encourages participation by using skills children have mastered, or allows them to practice skills they need to acquire or refine. Such music usually increases physical and/or intellectual “vocabulary” and taps into a child’s imagination and sense of adventure.
Sounds like high expectations for singin'n'dancin'? NOT! In Early Childhood, music rarely stands alone. We can teach science, art, drama, math, PE and all the early literacy skills while sharing a tune or doing a dance (following SEQUENCES and PATTERNS). Studies have shown that retention is increased by 50% when a movement component is added to the learning sequence.
QUICK! WHAT’S THE LETTER BEFORE “G”? (hum Jeopardy tune here) Got it? How’d you get it? Did your brain run the ABC Song quickly up to G and then you knew it was F? (you did get “F”, right?) Well, it works because that ABC song is hard-wired into our brain from an early age and we can access it like that! – SNAP!
I CONSIDER THIS “THE MUSIC IMPERATIVE!”
We must expose our children to developmentally appropriate music every day. Here’s a song to start with – “DOWN I FLOP!” It’s in a minor key, which is not as common in EC music, and has lots of opportunity to practice self-control, gross-motor skills, and good social interaction and spatial awareness. AND IT’S FUN! You can hear it here - it was the Song of the Month in April 2011.
Lyrics: Clapping, clapping, see me clapping
Clapping, clapping, all day long!
Nobody knows I can clap so well
Nobody knows I can stand so still.
Clapping, clapping, see me clapping
When I am tired, down I flop!
Do some stamping, jumping, walking, running (yes, RUNNING!), tiptoeing - or whatever skill you want to work on! Make sure everyone stands VERY still on those lyrics (model the behavior), take a breath, and continue! It's a blast!
|SEE ME JUMPING?!?!?|
Yes, you can purchase my cd that this song
is on, "BALONEY!", or you can learn it and
sing it acapella with your kids. I always do it
first without the recording, then with - to allow
for changes in lyrics and tempo to fit the
children with whom I'm working.
|DOWN I FLOP!|
Now get flopping! ... and if you're in the Massachusetts area, come see me at the MassAEYC conference. OR in the Midwest - both days at the IL-ASCD -PreK and K Conference. Both conferences are in March. For details check my Events Calendar.
Yours for a Song!
"Miss Carole" (Peterson) Stephens