Any early childhood teachers out there? Could use some advice.
Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm designing a music appreciation program for the local cultural center (one of 3 small teaching jobs I'm taking in the absence of full time employment). I'm a music education major fresh out of college certified to teach k-12 general music, band, choir, blah blah blah but out of that 136 credit hour major, exactly 3 credit hours were spent on general music and teaching k-5th graders (which is who the class is for at the center).

There is already a percussion class and a choir class, so the director told me to design something that doesn't "overlap those too much." She would prefer I do something along the lines of exposing them to classical music and world music cultural (which was not strongly covered in my training but I love that kind of stuff!) Anyway, my question is, how can I get the little ones ('specially k-2nd grade class) to learn the more abstract and academic aspects of music, without a the focus on playing or singing it. My primary focus was band, so I'm really good at teaching them to read music while learning to play it, but that approach isn't so available.

My philosophy is kids learn best by doing, but that option is not so much available to me. Also, this is an after school kinda deal, not required so it needs to be fun. I have some lessons I think could work, but I would love to hear how other teachers work with this age group.

Any suggestions from, well, anyone really?


Wednesday, December 15, 2010 9:38 PM


Peter and the Wolf is one of my favorite lessons regarding these kinda of things! Good music and an excellent demonstration of what the instruments are capable of!

If any folks want to keep sending suggestions, more ideas are always shiny! But I've more or less got a handle on things now. What's limiting me the most is my lack of equipment and only seeing each group of students once a week.

Sunday, December 5, 2010 1:45 AM


I have kids in this age group. We recently did a series of music lessons on families of instruments and instrument identification. At that age, usually they can't tell the difference between an oboe and clarinet (sometimes, *I* have a hard time). But they can identify woodwinds vs brass, or pick out a sound that is very unique like a piccolo.

If I can find it, we watch videos of classical music and film music concerts so they can see the instruments being played.

Also, there is a cool video called Elmo's Peter and the Wolf.

Monday, August 30, 2010 8:49 AM


Check out HBO they have something called classical baby that would make a few awesome lessons. Also check out ERIC.

Monday, August 30, 2010 6:56 AM


If I was you I'd do some research into Carnival of the Animals. It has loads of different sections, each one (as suggested) representing a different animal. There's loads of different elements to it too, so it could come in handy another time too.

Friday, August 27, 2010 7:04 PM


Of course, Eurythmyics! Excellent idea, I vague remember covering Eurythmyics with Kodaly I think it was... time to break out that text book and do some more research. Thank you very much for the suggestion.

Friday, August 27, 2010 6:37 PM


Have them dance to it! They can move with the rhythm go fast/slow with delicate/sharp movements, etc, to go along with the music. You're right, they need to be doing something, otherwise you will totally lose them. You could have them make up different dance moves to go with different parts of the song, stuff like that. Afterwards have a little discussion about what they noticed/how it made them feel, etc. Good luck:)


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