Over the last ten posts, I offered a series on early childhood music education. Today, I’d like to share with you some of the songs I mentioned and recommended in that series. Below you will find some videos of music educators performing these songs. The materials from John Feierabend are available from GIA Publications.
“The Crabfish” is a delightful song that children enjoy. It is one of those stories one can sing to children while they just listen and enjoy.
“No More Pie” is an echo song used to develop a good singing voice and accurate repetition. I also suggested using the song with your own words to help children memorize days of the week, the weather, or whatever you are teaching them.
Here is a video of an early childhood music class with parents participating. You will see children trying to time their movements to those of the adults, and you will see the adults swaying and moving their child to the music as they sing. There is extensive use of percussion instruments, especially claves and shaker eggs. These add sound to the movements. In the video, the parents are moving their child’s arms while the child holds on to a shaker egg. By doing this, the child can hear a sound that coincides with each movement. Locomotor moments are also used when the children get up to jump and dance with their parent. There are many good things going on in this class.
Once children pass from informal to formal instruction, there can be an expected response from children. The child is no longer in music babble, but can now repeat musical patterns with some accuracy. An activity like this one, where the child is expected to tap three times, skip a beat and pass an object on the skipped beat is an example of a musical activity with an expected response form the child. The child is applying timing, beat and motor skills to a musical activity. You could use a story you read to the class that has a repeated phrase. Have the children clap to the rhythm of the words of that phrase overtime they hear it.
I hope these video examples help you to better understand how to implement music in your classroom. They are intended as a companion to my previous ten posts, “The Amazing Human Musical Mind.” Be sure to contact me if you have any comments or questions about using music in your classroom or with your own children at home.