Monday, January 21, 2013

Learning Skills through Song and Game

 During Lewis Music Studio classes, we do hands on activities that teach musical skills.  The kids don't usually realize that they are learning since all of the activities are songs and games.  Here are some favorite ways that we learn some basic skills:

1. Soft- We use the song "Play" by Hap Palmerto play softly.  This song also helps the children to follow basic instructions about their playing.

2. Fast and Slow-  The parachute comes out, and we play "Ring Around the Rosie
"  each time I remind the students that it's getting faster.  They laugh on the last verse when we are singing very fast and practically running in the circle.

3. Multicultural Music- The song "African Drum Circle
" is great for expression, but it also exposes the students to African Music. 

4. Beat- Most of the songs that we do reenforce the concept of beat.  Marching, clapping, drumming, and playing rhythm instruments on the beat are great ways to practice this important concept. 

5. Expression- We use "Carnival of the Animals
" andHap Palmer's
 "The Elephant" along with scarves to move with the music.  The toddlers have fun using their bodies to express and interpret what they hear. 

Music is a delight and a joy for all people, and it's an honor to see the smiles on toddler's faces as they learn and grow musically!

Monday, January 7, 2013

On Our First Day...

First day jitters are normal, but so are smiles, encouraging words, and fun! On our first day of classes for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, fun is the key.  It's important that the children feel comfortable and excited about the music and the class.  The more fun they have, the more skills they can learn!  The goal is for everyone to leave with a huge smile and excited to come back next week for more fun!
Early Childhood Classes at Lewis Music Studio

When the children come in to the class, they are met with a colorful room full of musical surprises. Bells, shakers, scarves, drums, and even tunnels are spread out on a bright parachute for the children to explore.  Upbeat music plays while the children try and explore.  When the song is over, we clean up and then sing our "Hello Song."  Singing the child's name help them feel like a welcome member of the group.  Singing the other children's names help them to learn their friends'  and teacher's names.  Now that everyone feels welcome, it's time to move on to learning time.
Early Childhood Classes at Lewis Music Studio

Next we work on our musical skills.  While older children may be learning piano songs or music reading skills, the infants work on clapping, balance, and tapping beats.  Songs, rhymes, and routines that are soon to become familiar favorites are introduced.  During our many songs and rhymes, the little ones enjoy finger-plays, trying props, shaking along with shakers, bouncing on laps, tossing beanbags, stamping feet, and even galloping.  The preschool children in the Intro to Piano class wiggle fingers, play bean bag games, tap secret messages, and spend lots of time right at the piano.  The My First Piano Adventures guides us as we learn to read music and play piano. 

Early Childhood Classes at Lewis Music Studio

We usually wrap the half-hour up with an exciting time with the canopy (AKA parachute).  The little ones sometimes take a ride, and then we sing "Everyone off and let's go under." A sweet relaxing lullaby is played while the children watch the colors float up and down over their heads.  Some kids lie down on their backs and watch while others choose to stand or dance.  When we sing goodbye to each of our friends, they know that they had so much fun, but I know that they learned so many new musical skills! 
Early Childhood Classes at Lewis Music Studio

If you are interested in joining us on our first day, click on the link above for your child's age group to learn more.  Email me- for more information.  Classes start this week, but it's never too late or the "wrong time" to get started.  I always adjust the rate for families who start once the session has started.