The Importance of Echo Songs in the Early Grades

Children develop the ability to sing accurately by repeating short patterns or song fragments. As they do so, they are building a vocabulary of music patterns that they will be able to remember, sing, and eventually read, write and use to improvise. While children can learn patterns by singing them with others in a class, … Continue reading The Importance of Echo Songs in the Early Grades

Resources for The Amazing Human Musical Mind

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 … Continue reading Resources for The Amazing Human Musical Mind

The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 10

Today I conclude my series on early childhood music, and the amazing things even the youngest minds can do musically. Another way you can work singing into your normal routine is to converse with children by singing. All it takes is two or three pitches, and you can easily say or ask children anything while … Continue reading The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 10

The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 9

When we talk—our young children and we--we do so with a limited range of pitches, and those pitches are relatively low in the range of our voices. This can easily be demonstrated with our stand-by, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. First speak the words.  Now, try to sing the song using the same sounds you used to … Continue reading The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 9

The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 8

There are four types of musical activities you should do with your students; those that help the child find and be comfortable with their singing voice, those that advance the child’s audiation ability, which is the ability to think in music and sing what has already been thought, those that develop moving to the beat … Continue reading The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 8

The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 7

Besides those things I mentioned yesterday, I could switch to rhythms. Now I will gently bounce the child to a beat. The child is not able to do anything to a steady beat yet, but I can again model that, teaching the child what that feels like, letting the child experience it. So I’ll bounce … Continue reading The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 7

The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 6

Today, I would like to share some specific music activities that anyone can do with a class of very young children. These activities can be done by early childhood educators who are not music educators, by caretakers and certainly by parents. They are all designed to build musical skills and concepts in young minds. Because … Continue reading The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 6

The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 5

Yesterday, I began discussing an article by Pascale. I will begin today with that same article. Although Pascale was writing to individual parents, there are several points we can put to use in our classrooms. Put children in the presence of music. If you can, bring live music into your classrooms. It can be a … Continue reading The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 5

The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 4

Just as a child starts to speak after listening to others speak, so too a child starts to sing, chant, and move after listening to others sing music. Through the voice, children develop the ability to sing and chant, which is the equivalent to speaking in a language. Because we are interested here in music, … Continue reading The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 4

The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 3

There are practical implications to just the impressive array of musical thinking even the youngest children are capable of. Because young brains are so musical, they must be given every opportunity possible to experience music and to grow in musicality. Edwin Gordon, a pre-eminent authority on music psychology and early childhood music, has emphatically written … Continue reading The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 3