In a typical Music Together class you will experience a “Play Along” at the end of the lesson. Typically just before the lullaby and closing Goodbye Song.
Play Alongs are provided on the CD from Music Together but also can be music brought in by the teacher or one of the families’ favorites from home. It is important to use music with a strong beat to encourage the children to feel the beat and to translate that into making the beat with an instrument.
Children love to experiment with different sounds . The difference between a shaker or rattle and a jingle bell is huge to a young child. Even the textures and feel of the instruments are different. It is a wonderfully enriching experience for the child to discover that they can make sounds that “go with” the music they are hearing.
As teachers and parents we model appropriate techniques on the instruments. It is very important to let the child “discover” while handling the instrument. It is tempting to try to take their hands and show them how to hold and play but research has shown it is better to let them discover and be creative with the instrument. They will learn the correct way to hold it by watching you, the caregiver.
Many children will want to move with their instrument. This is an excellent way to develop those kinesthetic skills that build the child’s “mental”musical vocabulary.There are five stages of rhythmic development which will occur during the process of becoming rhythmically competent.
Whether it is a triangle or a beater or a woodblock or a shaker, these tools will build your child’s beat and rhythm competence and soon you will see a little musician developing!
Amanda and Wendy teach music to children at A and W Music Together, and are experts in teaching music to children. They are are two of the Reading Kingdom’s Summer Activity Guides. Be sure to check out the Reading Kingdom blog every Wednesday for posts from our Summer Activity Guides who will blog about parenting, and fun things to do with your children throughout the whole summer.