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Music Time

Ready, Steady, Play!

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Is there an aspect of play in your Music Time?

What do I mean by this?  Activities that give the children a chance to explore sound and express themselves at their level.  I think music can sometimes follow the same path as art and design in the early years; it becomes too focused on the end product rather than letting the children explore and experiment.  That’s not to say we don’t teach the children to sings songs but we need to ensure we are giving them equal...

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Can I Lead an Early Years Music Time?

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Yes, everyone who works in the early years can lead an enjoyable and worthwhile music experience.  You just need self-belief and some time to develop your knowledge and skills.

Here are the answers to some questions you might be asking yourself:

Is my voice good enough?

Yes, even if you feel that you can’t sing, your voice is good enough.   The majority of songs that should be sung with the under 5s should be simple; they should have a simple tune and rhythm. ...

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Can you teach music to a mixed age group of U5s?

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Yes, music can be enjoyed by children of all ages.

You may wonder how those children who are sitting still are benefitting like those who are singing and moving to the music. Please read on to find out how music can benefit all during a music time.

Singing

On my Magical Music Time online training course I talk about the development of children’s voices.  One point I make is, when we do a singing activity we are not always asking the children to join in with all the singing.  ...

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If You're an Early Years Practitioner, You Can Do Music!

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Do you doubt your own abilities?  Do you think that really good music times can only be delivered by a musician within the early years? Well, I’m here to tell you, you are wrong.  We can all give children a quality music time.

How? By gaining the skills, knowledge and confidence to deliver it ourselves. 

There are 3 elements that make a great music experience: Performing, Composing and Listening. Don’t let those words put you off. I’m going to go through what...

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Are you currently just doing Music Time for the sake of ticking a box?

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Are you currently just doing Music Time for the sake of ticking a box?

Does the thought of Music Time make you feel scared, worried, frustrated…?

Maybe you sing a few songs with the children or try to avoid doing it altogether as you just don’t know what you should be doing.  It just feels like a box ticking exercise, not an enjoyable experience.

So, take a step back and think why are you thinking this? 

Is it because you…

  1. ...don’t have ideas
  2. ...are not...

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Help! The music specialist isn’t coming anymore.

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What do you do when you find out you no longer have outside music help or maybe you have decided that you can no longer afford this help?

It was the children’s highlight of the week and you even you looked forward to it every week. 

What do you do?

Panic? ... Stop doing it? .... Reach for a CD?

STOP!  Think, what was it that made it the highlight?

Was it,
  • they got their hands on real instruments every week?
  • they interacted with lots of different props?
  • the music specialist...

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Doing music just for music!

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Doing music just for music!

I’ve been asked and read lots about how music can benefit other areas of learning.  It is great that it is such an enabling subject.  I even wrote my degree dissertation back in 1998 on how music can help learning the mathematical concept of pattern:

‘An investigation into how music can help children’s learning in maths, especially in the concept area of pattern’

I think we sometimes miss that we should also be doing music just...

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Music Time Madness

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I’m going to be honest with you, not every Music Time I teach goes to plan.  I run classes for parent /carers and children and classes for nurseries/preschools. 

Parent/Carers and Children Classes

I sometimes like to think of my parent/carer and child classes as organised chaos.  These usually have children between the ages of 18 months to 4 years. Since I started running these classes ~ 8 years ago I have witnessed children doing various things during my Music Time:...

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Everyone can manage 5 minutes of music a day!

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Are you not quite ready for a 20 minute music time? What about 5 minutes of music each day instead? 

Here are some suggestions for the next week.  Just pick one idea for each day:

Monday

  • Pick a nursery rhyme the children know well
  • Choose a new simple song to teach the children.  Sing just the first verse to them.  Ask the children to just join in with the missing word at the end of each phrase. e.g. twinkle twinkle little ….. (star)
  • Play a piece of music to the...

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