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...
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:
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...
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...
I am lucky to be able to listen to the birds singing to each other from my office in the garden. There is one bird, we think it is a blackbird, who sings a very non-bird like tune. It sounds like the start of a song but you never hear it complete; just the same unfinished musical phrase every time.
Why am I telling you about this?
When children first learn to sing they don’t always complete a phrase or sing a complete line, just like the bird. We need to acknowledge...
Music and movement go together like cheese and crackers, a chair and table, rain and an umbrella.. you get the idea; they complement each other. So, I have listed 7 songs and rhymes that I know will get children moving!
1. Grand Old Duke of York. Who can sing this nursery rhymes without moving? The words tell the children what to do. It is great for emphasising the pulse (the beat in music). If you're not sure about what is meant by the pulse/beat...
What song and rhymes will you sing/say with the children in your early years setting in the next year?
Here are 50 songs and rhymes, in alphabetical order, that I have sung or will be singing in the next year:
- A hedgehog is very prickly
- Aeroplanes, aeroplanes
- An elephant
- Baa, baa black sheep
- Bobby Shaftoe
- Big Bear
- Christmas pudding
- Cobbler, cobbler
- Coffee, coffee
- Cows in the kitchen
- Dr Foster
- Dingly dangly scarecrow
- Down in the jungle
- Five little ducks
- Five little men
Movement songs are great. Songs that have movement may help the children learn the words, develop a sense of pulse/beat and other musical elements. There are many movement songs but I have chosen 3 which both the children and I enjoy.
1 Grand Old Duke of York
The children love marching to this song and it is particularly good for emphasising the pulse with the strong marching within it. Also once the children know it well, I encourage them to explore pitch with their body:...
There are many books that you can add some singing to, whether that be a word, a phrase or the whole book.
I've added affiliate links to Amazon for your convenience; just click on the image of the book.
Here are 9 that you might like to try:
Here is a breakdown of how I approach the story Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. This was one of my children’s favourite books when they were young!
What musical elements can we focus on that will bring the story to...
Does the thought of singing make you feel stressed?
Last week, I was reading an article by Richard, a choir director, that discussed adults believing they cannot sing. He remarks
‘I have yet to meet anyone with amusia - a musical disorder which apparently affects 4% of the population.’
Here’s the link if you’d like to read it:
I can’t remember how the conversation came up...
Action songs are great.
They can make a song fun and enjoyable to sing and they can alsohelp the children learn the words. I sometimes make actions up to help children learn the words. There are many action songs but I have chosen 5 which both the children and I enjoy.
1. Head Shoulders Knees and Toes.
This is a song I vividly remember singing as a child. My favourite part was missing the words out. If you've never done this you would hum instead of saying thebody parts:
- First verse singing...
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