If you work in a 6wk - 5 yr old room, you know that Music is an important part of your day. You can learn to music, dance to music, and pretend to music. So why isn't it used in the classroom more often? I am not talking about the background music some of us play during quiet time, or party time. I mean everyday music time?? I know I don't use it as often as I should. I know I don't want to listen to the banging of the drum or tapping of the tambourine for hours on end. So, my dilemma... how to get more open-ended and hands-on music time for the children in my care???
We have a book, Mortimer, by Robert Munch. We love to take out the instruments and bang away during the chorus. We like to use some instruments when we count or sing special songs. Yet, I know I could be doing more. Like I said, I should be using music EVERYDAY!!! How did I get on this rant you ask??? Check out Ms Debbie and Mr Randy, from Once Upon A Day in Preschool, here and you will see what I mean. Page down to the video's and take a look at the absolute joy on the kids faces as they dance with Mr Randy and the anticipation as they stand in line waiting their twirly turn. It was while watching this video that I realized how little we have been doing for our music time. If we even fit it in to our morning. It seems like we could go a whole week and not have a single get up, twist-n-shout, try out the instruments kind of day.
So, all weekend I have been thinking of how to incorporate more than the singing and finger movement activities we do. (Which are just as important, don't get me wrong & we do this on a daily basis) Yet seeing the joy, the giggling and the movement that the kids have when we turn the music up loud or taking out the instrument to start dancing. The look of amazement when Miss Michelle starts acting silly, and like Mr Randy, picks the kids up and dances with them. The specialness of it... even though everyone gets a turn, you feel like your the only one in the world when your teacher gives you that little moment of time. I could see that on the faces of Ms Debbie & Mr Randy's kids in the video. It was special and that's what makes theirs a great environment.
So... I have decided that outside time would be a great time to make some music. If we bring out the instrument box a few days a week I think the kids will enjoy it and I am almost positive most of my neighbors are working :) If not, oh well. It's not like it is 7 in the morning or 11 at night. I have also started looking online for some Children CD's that I have seen some friends use, and I have revisited Deborah Stewart's blog Little Fingers That Play, and reread all her Music Posts from her blog Excellence in Early Childhood Education. With these little changes I think we can learn to appreciate and make some beautiful music (at least to our ears). That the banging and shouting will only be for short time, while we get used to being able to use music in our daily lives. That the more we learn about music and how to make it, well, it will all come together. So for now, I will keep singing, moving, and introducing instruments to our days. It should make for a happy, noisy house!! (and that can't be bad!!!)
In addition to thinking and ranting about Music & Movement... I did add some Valentine activities into the week. We will have the Valentine Making center, which is just a place to go crazy with the glue, do-dads, & hearts. Though I think almost all of the kids will know how to write and/or read "I LOVE YOU" by the end of the week. We also did some heart sorting, heart counting, and a heart craft. I wish I could show you some photos, but yes, my helper still has the camera!!! So, hopefully I will get it back this afternoon and I can post some tomorrow.
Parents... We will be having our Valentine's Day Party on Friday!!! Please have your children bring in their Valentine's any time after Wednesday!!! We will be sorting them by name, counting, matching and delivering them on Thursday and Friday :). Thanks!!!