Music and Performance
Singing, playing instruments, movements or dancing to music, or role-play performance, is done daily!
A wide variety of child-sized instruments is provided for both the self-directed and structured learning: piano, drums, xylophone, ukulele, maracas, bells, and more.
Each month we learn a new song that is connected to one of the learning themes or to a holiday. For example, for April’s ‘Life on the Farm’ theme we learn to sing Old MacDonald Had A Farm. We also go through our repertoire of songs and often add in either instruments, music, or dance/movements.
For performance, we use puppets or role-play to help explore our weekly topics, monthly themes, and socio-emotional development. And often just to have some silly fun (like when our Hungry Caterpillar eats all of the numbers from our calendar at the end of the month). We also play games like Charades, Freeze Dance, Simon Says, and Red Light, Green Light (movement on queue coordination).
Dance and movement often overlap with all of the above categories. For example, in one of the weeks of September, we are learning about our bodies and learn the song Hands, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes as we move in coordinated actions along with the lyrics. In March, which is World Cultures month, we learn a variety of cultural dance steps and traditional music. Other times include each student choosing music for us all to play freeze dance.
Instead of an in-person performance, which can cause stress or massive distraction for children this age, I record and post performances (informal and practiced) to put onto our private Facebook group for families. Depending on the age of children, this may be as simple as learning the chorus line from Jingle Bells as we learn to use instruments in rhythm with lyrics. We (for teachers as well as children) want it to be fun rather than a stressful and boring drill to memorize and perform it perfectly.