Category Archives: Preschool Music

Name Games and Activities to start the school year

Some music teachers teach more than a thousand students each week and it can be very difficult to remember the names. Starting your first classes with a name game will help you to remember those names – at least for this music class!  If you go the Back to School Unit in Units at www.Musicplayonline.com, there are many name games AND mixers to get your school year off to a great start.

Name Games:
K.149 Chickamy
K.8   Cookie Jar Chant
K.12 Hickety Tickty Bumblebee
1.36 Cuckoo
3.2 Number Concentration
4.9 Jolly Rhythm (another good one to do with the numbered paper plates)
5.2  Concentration

Mixers:
1.68 I LIke You
1.66  Rig a Jig Jig
2.73 Hot Cross Buns
4.5 Good Morning
5.33 Green Sally Up

For your olders:

Number Concentration

Give every student in the class a number on a white paper plate or index card.  (You may want to organize a seating plan, and give them the number that they will have in the plan.)  The teacher sings a number, and that student sings back his/her name. As you sing, tap a beat with one finger. Each time that a student forgets to sing on his/her number, choose a new tempo.   When the students are familiar with the game, you can play this as an elimination game—if you don’t respond with your name after your number is sung, you go out.  Invite students to be leaders and sing the numbers.  The paper plate idea was suggested by a teacher from a district where she has really large classes.  The paper plates help her students to remember what number they’re given and has made the game really successful for her.

Number Concentration is a simple reading using just so-mi-do and ta, ti-ti, rest.  If your students can read the rhythms and pitches, have them learn the song by reading it.  If they aren’t there yet, just read the rhythms, and teach the melody by rote.

Because it’s a simple reading song, it’s an excellent opportunity to review beat and rhythm with your students using the interactive rhythm tools and/or the matching worksheets.  Use the interactive tool to model how to create an ostinato, B section, or introduction/ending for the song.  The game is fun, and can be extended in many ways!

Go to Interactive Rhythm section, and select Word Rhythm Composition:

Model how to create a rhythm composition with the words “Number” and “Name”.  Choose two kinds of body percussion and perform your new pattern. Try other ways of doing the body percussion and decide which you like the best.  Transfer the body percussion to unpitched instruments and decidewhich you like the best.  After modeling, give the students sets of “Number” and “Name” cards made up from the Printables in this section and have small groups of students create their own rhythm composition.

Students lay their pattern out on the floor.  They choose 2 kinds of instruments and play the pattern.  Use the song as the theme, and student compositions as B, C, D, E sections and create a rondo.  Do a group practice.  Ask them to refine their composition – maybe add some dynamics, or add some movement.  Perform.  Ask groups to think of what they “noticed” and “wondered” about their performances.  (reflect on performance)

Many additional extensions are possible for the game – there are 11 worksheets given, and matching interactive activities so you can teach or model how to label beat and rhythm, then practice and reinforce.

Here’s a link to see how the Word Rhythm Composition might sound.
https://youtu.be/RQ5IP8vUdXM

For your littles:

Hello Beat Chant

Source: Rhythm Instrument Fun, and in Musicplay PreK
I’ve had this in other newsletters, but I can’t recommend it enough.  It just works and is awesome to learn names AND to experience/review all the basic concepts.  Using this beat chant establishes a routine, introduces the term “beat” and will help the teacher remember all of the names.

1. Say the chant, patting a steady beat as you speak. Say hello to the students using different kinds of voices:  high/low, loud/quiet, fast/slow, speak/sing/whisper/shout, singing voice using a variety of solfa patterns.  After you say the name, the class echoes, saying the name just like you did.

2. In the next lesson, instead of patting the steady beat, play the beat on a non-pitched instrument. Ask the students questions about the instrument
you’ve chosen to play.
* What is this instrument called?
* What is it made out of?
* How is the sound made on this instrument?

3. Demonstrate how to hold the instrument and how to play it before playing along with the chant. You may want to have the students play some instruments. If you have a tambourine or hand drum, you could hold it, but have the children tap it. This is an excellent way to introduce all of the non-pitched
instruments that you have in your classroom.

Looking for more ideas and icebreaker games for your classroom? MusciplayOnline has a plethora of songs you can use with your new and returning students! Search terms like “Name games”, “shakeups”, “brain teasers”, “openers”, “warmups”, “organizers”, and “cumulative”.

We love to know how you’re using our materials!!!  Share the name games that you’re using in your classroom in the Musicplay Teachers group on Facebook!  If you don’t do Facebook, share in the forum at Musicplayonline.

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Preschool Music Lesson, May 6, 2014

This class was taught to 3, 4, and 5 year old students in a Montessori school.   This was the second in  a series of 5 lessons that I’ll be doing with them.

Beat/Name Chant:  We started the class with our beat and name chant. I reviewed the beat chant.  Beat, beat, feel the beat.  Say hello to those you meet.

I kept the beat with the castanets today.  I have the plastic ones that pop open after you click them, so could keep the castanets on my hand and have the children tap them.  I told the children what the instrument is called and that they used to be made of wood, but now are sometimes made of plastic.  I showed them how to play it and told them that they’d all get to try it when they said their name. I held the castanet in the palm of my hand and the children played the castanet when they said “ My name is ____” and the class echoed “Your name is _________.”  At this point with the 3-4-5 year olds, I’m modeling how to keep the beat as we chant.  A few of the children are correctly tapping the beat, but many are not.  After 4 children, we said the 4 names in a row, partly to keep the beat, but also so I have a better chance of remembering the names!     (5  min.)

Vocalise with pipe cleaners:  – hold the pipe cleaner and move from top to bottom, saying ah as you move. – make the pipe cleaner into V and say Vvvv as you move ver the V shape.   – add a pipe cleaner across the upside down V and make A.  Say Aaaa as you show how to print the letter.  Be sure to show the formation of the letters in the same way that you print them.  (1 min.)

Short Letter A song – review from last week.  (30 sec)

Alligator Alarm song – review from last week.  Invite the children to children to choose new body parts for Alligator Al to eat.  (many squeals and excitement)  Some of the kids wanted to blurt out the body parts.  I found a child who had a hand up, and thanked them for having their hand up and asked them what they’d like Alligator Al to eat.  We ended up eating clothes, shoes, ears.

Vegetable cards – Mistake.  I gave each child a card and we spent more time discussing what the vegatables were than making music with them.  Suggestion for next time:  Put 4 cards in the pocket chart, and name them, then chant them with body percussion or instruments.  I wanted to have the children suggest sounds for their vegetable, but we’ll have to do this as a class this week.  (tomorrow’s lesson)

John the Rabbit:  I took vegetables from 4 kids, and we sang John the Rabbit substituting the vegetables chosen from the ones in the song..  I skipped the end of the song – it’s a little morbid.  I just shooed the rabbits out of my garden and picked out some new vegetables.

One Green Jellybean song:  I sang the song for the kids, then played the recording and doing all the movement.  They needed the jumping after getting all excited playing John the Rabbit and jumping in the garden.  (3 minutes)

Little Rabbit Foo Foo – Last week we sang the song.  This week, I brought in the storybook, and we modified the words of the song to match the pictures.  I kept to the words of the song as much as possible thought.  (3 minutes)

Rain Rain Go Away – I played the song on my mini-glock.   I talked about the weather – it had rained and snowed all weekend, so we sang both Rain, rain, go away and Snow, snow, go away.     (1 minute)

Egg Shakers – I explained that when I give out the eggs, I wanted everyone to wait until everyone had one before anybody picked them up.  One child started before they were all given out and a gentle reminder was given to wait.  As soon as everyone had an egg we chanted:

Shake the eggs quickly, quickly, quickly.  Shake the eggs quickly, quickly,stop!                                2.  slowly     3. Quietly    4. Loudly

I found one child who stopped when they were supposed to, and complimented her on stopping right away.  This really helps improve the behaviour of all the other children!

We said the poem, Chorus:  Shakin’ Eggs.  Shakin’ eggs.  Shakin’ eggs.  I got no bacon I got shaken’ eggs. (repeat)  Shake it up high.  Shake it down low.  Shake it real fast.  Shake it real slow.                       Chorus:  Shakin’ eggs.  Shakin’ eggs.  I got no bacon I got shaken’ eggs. (repeat)                                                        Shake it real quiet.  Shake it real loud.  Shake it any way that you’re allowed.                                 Chorus:  Shakin’ eggs.  Shakin’ eggs.  I got no bacon I got shaken’ eggs. (repeat)

When we put the eggs away, I sing, “bum bum” to so-do.

Goodbye ________, See you next week. Is our goodbye song, but because they gave me a muffin for Mother’s day, we didn’t have time.

Happy music making with your preschool students!  If you have some great lessons, send them to me and I’ll post them.

The Musicplay PreK curriculum part 1 will be published in July 2016.  The teacher’s guide includes a CD with recordings of all the songs.  Digital resources will be available with kids demos of all activities, song movies with colorful illustrations, lesson plans, and song activities.  Visit www.musicplay.ca for information on this new publication!  PreK will also be included at www.musicplayonline.com – a new online resource that’s invaluable for teaching music in the elementary school.

 

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.