If You're Happy and You Know It and Schemas

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How can you use music activities as an opportunity for children to explore the schemas that they enjoy? 

Let's take the well-known song 'If you're happy and you know it' to see how we can explore some of the main schemas:

Here are the words for the song including the well-known action clap your hands:

If you're happy and you know it.... clap your hands (clap clap)

If you're happy and you know it... clap your hands (clap clap)

If you're happy and you know it and you really want to show...

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Early Years Music Ideas for Parents/Carers

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To help in this difficult time I have collated some blogs that parents/carers might find helpful when young children are at home:

10 nursery rhymes that I know the under 5s love

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It’s Music Time again.  Does your mind go blank when it comes to thinking of songs to sing?  Would you like a little help?  Click here for 10 songs that I know children love to sing:


5 Outdoor...

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Not the Wheels on the Bus Again!

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Singing familiar songs regularly with young children is an important part of their development.  Although it doesn’t mean you need to be singing the same songs and/or in the same way every day.

When I talk to many adults in nurseries and preschools they mention they are fed up with singing the same songs.  One of the songs that children ask for constantly is, ‘The Wheels on The Bus’.  Does this sound familiar?

How can you overcome this?

  • Vary how you approach...

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Musical Opposites

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When I get the instruments out with the children, I hear many of them shaking/banging/scraping as fast and/or hard as they can. Does this sound familiar? I find most children love playing as loud and fast as they can although there are a few who prefer to play quietly and maybe slowly.

We can use this to our advantage when exploring sound as we can encourage the children to explore opposites in music, two examples being dynamics (loud and quiet) and tempo (speed: fast/slow)


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Round in a Circle

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Some children love to move around and around, whether that be spinning on the spot or running around in a circle.  As many songs/rhymes include moving in a circle or spinning around we can use these to help explore a child’s need to spin, twirl, twist…. and also encourage those to try who wouldn’t normally choose to rotate.  So, it is worth having a collection of ‘round in a circle’ songs and rhymes that you can call on.  Here are 3 that I...

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How Can Music Help in the Prime Areas of Learning?

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Music can help in all 7 Areas of Learning.  In this blog, I'm going to go through how you could use music to help with the Prime Areas of Learning: Communication and Language, Physical Development, and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.


Using Songs/Rhymes to help with Communication and Language


Opportunity for children to:

  • Listen to rhythmic patterns
  • Recap words
  • Be introduced to new words
  • Help them understand words
  • Say simple sentences...  plus much more

What can...

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Make Music Day

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On 21st June ‘Make Music Day’ is celebrated around the world.  What music making are you going to do today?  Here are some ideas to get you started:

Outside Music

I have taught many music time sessions outside.  Click here to read about 5 different activities that have a musical element that you may like to try:


10 nursery rhymes that I know the under 5s love.

Does your mind go...

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It’s Nearly the Summer Holidays

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It’s Nearly the Summer Holidays, is the first line from a song that I wrote about the fun activities children may do during the holidays. The day after I wrote it, I sang it to a group of nursery children and I was amazed how quickly they remembered the chorus! Do you have a collection of holiday-themed music activities up your sleeve that you can call on? Here are a few songs that I sing with the children when we’re thinking about the holidays:


Underneath the water, is a song that I...

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5 Ways to Sing with Baby

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Singing is a great way to both stimulate and soothe a baby.  Using songs and rhymes in different ways can help with their development.  Here are 5 different types of song/rhyme activities that you could do with the babies in your care:

1. Watching

These are songs and rhymes where the baby will just listen to you sing with or without a prop.  They may be in your arms, lying, or sitting in front of you.

Just listening to your voice

You can stimulate a baby by just using your...

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15 Weather Props

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Do you use props during your music time? If not, it is worth considering as they can really help children engage through a sensory/interactive element to an activity. I have listed below 15 props/resources that I have used with children from 0 to 5 years in weather themed songs, rhymes and listening activities.

1. Scarves: I have used these in activities where children listen to music inspired by rain, snow or wind

2. A Parachute: Is a good way to create the effect of wind for songs and...

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