Monthly Archives: April 2014

Preschool Music Lesson – April Week 3

I realize that I’m a week behind, but I’m going to teach April week 4’s lesson next week, even though I know it’s going to be May.  I wanted to teach the entire month’s lessons and it’s going really well.

Hello song – Today I used a different hello song.  I’m so happy to see ___, I’m so happy to see _____, I’m so happy to see ____, Everyone has fun in music class.  I kept the beat with castanets and reviewed what it’s called (Castanets – letter C), and how it’s played.

Vocal warmups:  Our vocal warmup was singing with the pipe cleaners.  I pull out a pipe cleaner and we sing a descending oo-ooo-ooo as I slide my finger down the pipe cleaner.  Then, I make different letter shapes with the pipe cleaner and we vocalise to those shapes, using the sound the letter makes.  I made a V, and we sang vvv down and up the letter V.

Letter Song:  We sang Letter V says V,  then I taught them V is for Victory.  I didn’t do such a great job of teaching it, and forget to bring the story along.  I’m getting better at story telling in the preschool – any time I tell a story, I have much better engagement!

Vicki and Van were on a volleyball team. Their volleyball team was very good. Vicki and Van really liked to play volleyball. At the end of the season, their team was in first place. Their team had a good chance to win the gold medal. The coach told the team to try their very best. “When you’ve done your best, you are a victor,” he said. All the parents wanted to video tape the big game. Then the kids could watch the game on TV. Vicky and Van tried their very best. All the kids tried their very best and they won the game. They were victorious! Vicky and Van were very happy that they were the victors and won gold medals. After the game was over, all the kids went to Vicky and Van’s house and watched a video of the game on TV. It was great to watch the victory!

New Song:  Five Little Ducks was the new song this week.  I had the castanets out, and had a brainstorm!  I used the castanets to do the sound of mother duck’s “Quack, quack, quack, quack.”  The castanets even looked like mother duck’s beak!  I have a class set of castanets, so gave each child one.  We always start instruments with the chant:  Play the castanets quickly, quickly, quickly. Play the castanets quickly, quickly stop!  Then I praise the children who stop when they are supposed to!  Then we do it slowly, quietly, and loudly.  We sang the Play and Stop song.  (From the collection, Rhythm Instrument Fun!) and then we sang “Five Little Ducks” again, with the castanets playing mother duck’s “Quack, quack, quack, quack.”  We counted how many ducks were left after each verse, so reinforced counting too!

Movement:  We reviewed “John the Rabbit.”  This song has been a big hit this year.  I’ve tried it a few other years, but this is the year that the kids are loving it.  It’s a call-response, and the kids are getting better and better at singing the response.  Today I asked who wanted to be “farmers” with me and had a group of farmers on my side of the room.  They sang the call with me, and when the rabbits answered, “Yes, Ma’am” they took one jump closer to the farmers.  I think their favourite part is when the farmer shoos the rabbits back to their spot.

Circle Game/Simple Song:  I’ve been teaching Rain Rain Go Away in preparation for the Rain Rain Story.  This is an app for iTunes, iPad and Google devices.  It’s great for creating sound effects and has some excellent ear training exercises for kids in the app.  Today I put 6-7 instruments in the middle of the circle.  I reviewed what these instruments were called and how to play them.  Then, as we sang “Rain Rain Go Away” I walked the outside of the circle, tapping each child on the head to the beat.  The last child tapped, went into the circle, chose an instrument and played the beat the next time we sang.  There was one child who was disappointed they didn’t get to go into the middle – another time, I’d give everyone a chance to play.  However, this way, we could hear the instruments better and the child playing could hear themselves better.

Audiation:  I taught the chant that is part of the Rain Rain app.

Pitter patter, pitter patter says the falling rain.   beats 1-4 pat, clap 2x, 2 beats show rain falling

Pitter patter, pitter patter on my window pane.   beats 1-4 pat, clap 2x, 2 beats show rain falling

We added the body percussion/actions as shown above.  Then I showed the kids my “magic mouth.”  I mouthed the words of the poem but didn’t say it, while I did the actions. I asked them to try it and we all did the actions, no words.  Next week, Say/Actions – Think/Actions – Say/Actions.

This is to help develop their ability to hear sound internally – audition.

Goodbye song:  Oh, It’s time to say goodbye to our friends.

 

This week I started teaching two classes at a Montessori preschool as well as teaching at Hunter’s play school.  I’m hoping to teach all the potential lessons in Musicplay Preschool several times before even thinking about completing it!

Join the Musicplay Teachers Group on Facebook – post questions and you get answers from Denise and from many other talented teachers!   https://www.facebook.com/groups/MusicplayTeachers/

 

 

Preschool Music Classes

I’ve been working on a preschool curriculum this year, combining what I think are the strengths of John Feirabend’s First Steps, and the curriculums that use instruments more extensively – Lynn Kleiner, Music Together, Kindermusik.  My hope is that Musicplay Preschool will be an easy to follow curriculum that will encourage students to enjoy singing, listening, playing instruments, moving, and creating.  I’ve spent the past 2 years with the preschool students in my grandsons preschool.  The first time I visited, they introduced me as Hunter’s grandma, and so for two years I’ve been Grandma D to 24 three, four and five year olds in the preschool.

This week’s lesson was mostly review.  Preschoolers need lots of repetition!  John Feirabend says you should do every activity four times in at least four lessons.  I find that can be a bit of overkill, but I do try to repeat activities 2-3 times.  We start our lessons with a beat chant, accompanied by a different instrument every week.

Beat, beat, feel the beat.  Say hello to those you meet.  I say,  “Hello Hunter” and the students echo me.  I use different vocal qualities:  low/high, quiet/loud, fast/slow and I use melodic echo patterns as well.  We discuss the instrument that I’ve played.  What is it made out of?  How does it make it’s sound?

This week when I got into the classroom, the kids were all wearing pyjamas, sitting in the dark and holding flashlights.  They were pretty wired because it was panama day, so I changed the order of the lesson and did “Sleepy Bunnies” first.  They love this song – it’s in Primary Dances and Singing Games.  http://shop.musicplaytext.ihoststores.com/productinfo.aspx?productid=PD  Doing the game first got the wiggles out and they were ready for the rest of the lesson.

Fingerplays and simple action songs are very important for this age group.  They are engaging, and help to focus the students.  They help students to develop vocabulary and comprehension, as the actions often describe the meaning of the words.  They also get children used to watching the teacher – a great skill to have when they join choir or band later on.

This week we reviewed “Little Rabbit Foo Foo” with no accompaniment.  (just our voices)  On “Down came the good fairy” I really exaggerate the “downward” sound with my voice – helps them develop flexibility in their voices.  If we review the song next week, it would be fun to add some instruments as sound effects.  A glissando on a glockenspiel on “Down came the good fairy” would be magical.  We could shake egg shakers to the beat while we sing.  On “Boppin’ them on the head” a drum or woodblock could be added.

We also reviewed John the Rabbit.  I pretended to be the farmer that was mad that a rabbit was hopping in his garden and eating his cabbage.  The children were the “rabbits.”  Each time they sang “Yes, ma’am” they took one hop towards me.  At the end of the song the “rabbits” wiggle their tales back to back with another “rabbit” and then the farmer shoos them out of the garden.  They squealed with laughter as they hopped back.  Then I had them choose some new vegetables to eat out of the garden.  I’m going to make some picture cards of vegetables to use next week, and at the end of the song we might chant the names of the vegetables that the rabbit ate:  eg.  Lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, corn.  We could sing the song with instruments as well – one instrument for “yes ma’am” and a different instrument for the calls.

We reviewed “Bunny Boogie” from Sing and Play on Special Days.  We also reviewed One Green Jelly Bean from Movement Songs Children Love.

Our listening selection was “Hens and Roosters” from Carnival of the Animals.  I have a great visual that I printed from the Listening Kit 1 Digital Resources.  They pretended to be little chicks pecking at the grain.  They were scared of the big rooster who was trying to steal their grain.

I’m preparing them for the Rain Rain Story App so taught them Rain Rain go Away.  We made up a new verse – all the children want to play.  I brought out finger cymbals and we accompanied the song with finger cymbals.  I don’t have 24 pairs, so gave each child 1 cymbal and a small wooden mallet.  It’s easier to play like this and still sounds beautiful.  This was our simple song, and it’s one that I expect all the children will be able to sing with enough repetition.  More about the app in the next post.

We didn’t have time to give out egg shakers, but I wanted to review the Shakin’ eggs poem, so I played and said the poem.

Then, goodbye song and class was done.