Blog

Garden Watch and Storytelling Week

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Are you taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Watch and/or Storytelling Week with the children in your early years setting?  Both happen at the end of January!  Have you thought about linking these to musical activities?  If not here are a few ideas to get you started: 

RSPB Big Garden Watch

Every year, at the end of January, the RSPB encourages people to take part in the survey so that they can track how the birds are doing in the UK.  Even if you are not taking part...

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Up, Down, In and Out!

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Are you looking for new ways for children to explore positional language?  There are lots of different activities that you can do to help them develop this understanding, but have you thought about using music activities?  You could emphasise the positional language during songs, instrument time and listening to music activities.  Here are a few ideas:

Songs

Movement songs

Encourage the children to move their arms into the different positions as you say the positional...

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My 5 favourite songs to sing during a Music Time

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Do you have songs that you love to sing with the children?  I’m going to share with you my five favourites although it was hard to whittle it down to five:

1.Twinkle, Twinkle

I love that most children know Twinkle twinkle. The song has a tricky tune but I hear so many under 5s trying to sing it; it's wonderful to hear. 

Although I think the main reason I love this song is it brings back memories of when my two children were little. My husband and I used it as the closing...

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Singing + Children =

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Singing is such a wonderful experience for all.  In the video below Prof Sarah Wilson, an expert in Cognitive Neuroscience and Clinical Neuropsychology, discusses what happens to your brain when you sing.

In summary, she says:

When you think about singing or are singing, large areas of the brain light up!

  • Motor Networks
  • Auditory or Listening Networks
  • Planning and Organisational Networks
  • Memory Networks
  • Language Networks (if singing words)
  • Emotional Networks

Plus it releases...

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5 Well-Known Songs with a Christmas Twist

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Are you struggling to find Christmas songs that you can sing with the children?  Why not take songs that they know well and change the words slightly or change all the words but keep the same tune.

Change a few of the words:

Here are 4 examples of songs that I have come up with for this blog.  I’m sure there are other songs that you know that you could do something similar to fit the Christmas theme.  From my experience, I think children from around 3 years and up, who...

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10 Top Tips for 10 Years

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This November marks 10 years since I started Musical abc, my independent music classes for the under 5s.  If you don’t know my background, I studied musical composition and then trained as a primary school teacher, with 4- 8 years as my specialist age range, although I spent most of my teaching career in Reception. So, with Musical abc I aimed to use my experience of teaching and music to bring a live music experience to young children and adults in my local area.  I have...

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Food and Drink Themed Rhymes

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I have always found food/drink themed songs and rhymes are always popular with the children.  I try, when I first introduce a food/drink song/rhyme to the children, to also have an example of at least one of the items mentioned in the song/rhyme, either the actual ingredient or a picture of it.  I do this as a multi-sensory experience to help more children engage in the activity.  Here are some examples of songs and rhymes that I used with an ingredient to enhance the...

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My 5 Favourite Sensory Props

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All my music times incorporate multi-sensory activities.  I do this so that all children can find a way to explore and express themselves.  I have selected 5 sensory props that are my favourite although I use many more.

Bubbles

Bubbles are great for all ages.  For babies, it helps them with tracking objects.  Older children try to catch and blow them.  I use them within songs/rhymes and when listening to music.  You may like to take a look at the blog: Bubbles...

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Wow, She’s up and Dancing!

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It is amazing how a music activity can help with a child’s self-confidence. 

I attended a nursery to do a music time with a new group of children; their response was fantastic and I love how music can bring a smile to a child’s face.  The activity I remember most was the listening activity.  This activity involved the use of fabric and bubbles.  As it was their first session I knew these props would be great to help the children respond to music. 

All but...

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Twinkle, Twinkle and the 7 Areas of Learning

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Twinkle, Twinkle is a song that is known by most people and I am sure it is one of the first songs that many parents sing to their newborn child.

So, with this in mind, how can we use a song like Twinkle Twinkle to help children develop in the 7 areas of learning?

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

We can use Twinkle, Twinkle as a starting point for a music...

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