Join the Parade: Session Notes

In our first 2 ABC Music & Me sessions the children:

• Were introduced to the concepts of quiet and loud in music.

• Responded physically and vocally to quiet and loud dynamics in music.

• Were exposed to the symbols and meanings for piano (p) (quiet) and forte (f) (loud).

• Played bells as part of an ensemble.

• Were challenged to use speaking, singing, whispering, and calling voices.

• Were invited to participate in a parade, responding to piano and forte sections of music.

• Listened to recordings of a pennywhistle, flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon.

Take the fun home with you!  Here are some suggestions for ways to enjoy your At Home Materials Kit and extend your musical play at home:

Lesson 1

In class, your child explored lots of different ways to move along to “Toodala,” (Home CD Track #3) such as swishing or clapping hands, and making up his or her own ways to move. When your child participates in movement–exploration activities like this, he or she is developing creativity, coordination, and motor control.

In songs like “Toodala,” children move to nonsense words. At home, you can create your own “mighty pretty motion” to your own “mighty pretty words.” Encourage your child to make up words, then find a movement to go with them. How would he or she splurgle around the room? Can you ziparog around the table? The possibilities for creative language and movement are endless!

Lesson 2

Ask your child how he or she chose to sing hello this week. Ritual and routine are important building blocks of comfort and familiarity for the preschooler. Because of the importance of structure, our hello song stays the same each week—but with new twists and turns! Each week I give the children the opportunity to suggest their own way to sing hello – one week we might wave hello and sway hello while the next we might wiggle hello or even jump hello—all to the same song. Ask your child to tell you his or her favourite way(s) to “say hello” – and enjoy singing “Groovin’ Hello” together!

In Lessons 3 & 4 the children practiced:

• Responding physically and vocally to aural and visual cues for piano (quiet) and forte (loud).

• Singing and using instruments to produce piano and forte sounds.

• Recognizing the symbols for piano and forte.

• Playing sandblocks while keeping a steady beat.

• Using speaking, singing, whispering, and calling voices expressively.

• Imitating sounds of various parade instruments.

• Listening to a recording of a piccolo playing.

Take the fun home with you!  Here are some suggestions for ways to enjoy your At Home Materials Kit and extend your musical play at home:

Lesson 3

Instruments that are played with back-and-forth, alternating movements help children develop eye-hand coordination—improving fine-motor skills that will help with writing, cutting with scissors, holding a paintbrush, and more.

Your home is filled with items that can be used as instruments. Pick a room, and challenge your child to find instruments to use with his or her friends for a marching band. Provide some music to play along with, such as “My Sandblocks” (CD track #13).  Reinforce fine-motor development and eye-hand coordination by encouraging playing with alternating, back-and-forth movements. Will he or she form a kitchen band? A bathroom band? You might be the first of your friends to have a child in a “garage band!”

Lesson 4

The ability to sing and speak are closely related. Playing with simple poems and rhymes helps children develop speech and language skills as well as an understanding of beat and rhythm. What a fun way to learn!

Here’s a simple chant to help your child learn to tie shoelaces! If your child welcomes the opportunity, then he or she is ready to get started. Just break down shoe-tying into manageable parts with this fun and easy-to-learn rhyme:

Lace crossing and looping one through, (Turn one lace under the other.)

A bunny ear here, now I have two. (Make a bunny ear with each lace.)

Bunny ear crossing and looping one through, (Turn one bunny ear under the other.)

Now look what I can do! (Pull the laces to tighten the tie.)

The key here is to take it slowly. Let your child master each part before adding on the next. This process might take several days—each little success will soon build to increased independence and self-esteem!

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