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Exploring the senses!

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Exploring the senses!

It is British Science Week in March.   How can we explore this in the EYFS and put a musical twist on it?  Using the senses is a brilliant starting point for very young children.  Below I have put forward an idea of how you can use music and each sense:

Hearing: listen to a wide genre of music: pop, electronic, jazz, folk, classical…

Sight: Listen to music or sing songs whilst you change the amount of light.  Why not project a light on a...

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World Book Day and Music

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You can take most stories and include musical concepts: dynamics (loud and quiet), tempo (speed), rhythm (long and short sounds), pulse (reading to a steady beat)… You are probably doing these things without even realising; these are what I believe brings story reading to life!

Here is a break down 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...

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7 Ways You Can Use Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

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I would speculate that almost everyone in the UK knows the nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

When my two children were young my husband and I sang to our children after their story every night.  We would always end with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star; it was probably one of the first nursery rhymes they sang. My experience when attending nurseries is most two year old children know the tune and most of the words!  Although the tune is actually quite difficult for...

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Chase away the winter blues with music!

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Winter needn't feel blue in your setting! Singing and listening to music maybe the answer you are looking for!

Singing is proven to release endorphins the 'feel good' chemical.  There have been numerous articles written about the benefits.  The Science of Singing, Singing changes your brain, Clinical Research on the Benefits of Singing ... and there are many more.

Also listening to music can lift your mood when you’re feeling a bit feed up.  I...

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Do you dread the annual Christmas concert?

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Here is a little insight into my experience of Christmas concerts over the years and what I have learnt to make it easier for all involved.

I taught Reception and Year 1 in a primary school.  Every year we did a Christmas concert for the parents/grandparents.  I remember, even as a musician, it being a very stressful time.  As I played the piano I was asked to learn to play all the pieces of music that accompanied the concert, even though there was a backing CD, along with...

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World Animal Day, Halloween and... are here soon!

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 Do you like to connect EYFS activities to events that are happening in the year?

October brings with it lots of different events.  Some I had not heard of until a month a go, for example on 4th October it is World Animal Day.  I have even decided to write a song for the event,  If you would like to listen here is the link: 

There is, of course, Halloween and it is Walk to school month too.

If you like to multi-sensory activities here is a sensory idea for...

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Help, I have no voice!

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It’s not until you no longer have your voice that you realise how much you rely on it as a teacher.

My job requires me to talk and of course sing.  I lost my voice at the end of June 2015, which thankfully was near the end of the summer term so my classes were near an end, but I had videos to create for the new ‘Music Time’ plans that I created.  It only started to get back to normal at the beginning of September; that’s a long time!

I don’t think that...

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Time for a change this Autumn!

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Time for a change this Autumn; are you fed up with the ‘same old same old’?

Do you struggle to think of new activity ideas? Are you fed up of doing the same ideas every Autumn? Well, why not think about the more unusual events that happen during Autumn like ‘Talk like a pirate day’, ‘Hug a bear day’ or even ‘World Food Day’.

Talk like a pirate day

  • Maybe get everyone dressing up as a pirate for the day. 
  • Make treasure maps - go...

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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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So you think you can't sing!

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'I can’t sing!'

I hear so many adults saying this to me. I would like you to ask yourself: why am I thinking this? Is it that you struggle to sing along to some songs on the radio, did someone make a comment in the past or maybe you just believe you can’t sing?

The children in your setting want to sing and so they need you as their carer/teacher to teach them new songs and rhymes. So, whatever the reason you need to overcome that fear and start singing!

What’s stopping you?

Do you love...

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