I saw Child A once during the Summer holidays for a one-off class which he attended with his older brother. This week was the first time I had seen him in a regular class. When he entered with his Childminder he was in good spirits and responded well to the presence of a new little boy who was attending for the first time.
We started with the Hello Song, of which Child A needed prompting before he tapped his knees to the beat. After that we used the song ‘Listen, listen’ which is where the teacher sings directly to each child with a drum. Each child gets a chance to play the drum and with Child A becming more physeically independent, he tried to tap the rhythm of his name which is not so easy at his age and musical stage of 36 months. However, he could vary the tempo (speed) of the pulse and even walk around the circle whilst banging the drum with the aid of his Childminder who held the drum for him.
We then moved onto a new call and response song called ‘Have you brought?’. The teacher sings the question “Have you brought your [vary type of voice used e.g speaking, pitch, volume etc.]voice. The class responds in the directed voice “Yes we have, yes we have”. Child A at this stage was unable to communicate a response but listended to the adults in the room echo back my suggestions. He responded by laughing at the silly voices e.g. posh voice, deep voice so he was able to diffentiate from a normal speaking voice. The song is designed to develop a child’s awareness of pitch matching with the mimicking of different voices.
The idea of pitch matching carried on with the next song, ‘Little Robin Redbreast’. I used a cat and bird puppet to represent the rise and fall of the pitch as the two characters in the song’s story move up and down the tree. Child A took it in turns to be the Cat then the bird and was able to follow my actions, moving the animal at the right phrase in the song to a higher then lower level according to the lyrics and pitch. I emphasised this some more by using gross motor skills of standing then crouching as Child A is more physically able now to do this independently.
We then progressed into a more physical song which was ‘Frosty Weather’. I used my lycra sheet to represent high and low sounds which enabled us to move as a group thus encouraging team work. The feel of the lycra is good to manipulate the pulse with waves and also to enclose children in a nice cocoon which represents the understanding of the environment when the Autumn Leaves fall to the ground. The group then expanded to use the whole of the indoor space to allow freedom of movement. We spun around the room, using different levels to explore the pitch range of the song coming together for a group huddle/adult-child cuddle to emphasise emotional well-being during the song.
To finish the class, I used the song ‘There’s a spider on my toe’. This again explores the body but in a more stationary position as the adult taps the pulse on different body parts of the child whilst singing. This progresses to use toy spiders that crawl up the child’s body. During the song, I clearly heard snippets of the melody being sung by Child A, who benefitted from the song’s repeating melody as the spider explores different parts of the body.
The class was concluded with the usual ‘Request’ slot followed by the Goodbye song which Child A waved very clearly unaided when his name was sung. A lovely start to the term.