I started the class as usual by singing the Hello song, during which Child A gave me a huge wave, independently when I sang his name to welcome him to the group. Then I introduced my new puppet Fuzzy, who is a cuddly bear puppet who lives inside a honey pot. We further delved into the idea of the ‘Thinking Voice’ where Fuzzy disappears into the honey pot during a certain word or phrase during the rhyme Fuzzy Wuzzy. Child A was fascinated by the new puppet and was very keen to have a go, he already knew beforehand that I had someone new to the group because he kept pointing to my bag. He even imitated my actions of making Fuzzy disappear on command.
Child A had also noticed the wooden percussion instruments in my bag, so I reintroduced the familiar song ‘Jack Be Nimble’ using my Jack doll to show the beat. Then we moved onto striking a drum on the last note of the song, which goes ‘Whee!’. This as I suspected, he understood straight away as in previous classes he was banging out specific patterns when we had used the drums before. We even discovered different dynamics of which he enjoyed playing loudly however, he needed a few attempts at playing quietly with the help of his Childminder as he was getting over excited from the game.
I decided to use up Child A’s energy with the new song ‘Touch Your Shoulders’, which is an action song that creates a pattern of movement to help learn about the body and focus on c0-ordination. Child A was reluctant to copy the actions and did try to leave the circle but was coaxed back in by his Childminder. I used the concept of the Thinking Voice in this song, my playing a similar game to the well-known song ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’, where different parts of the body are touched in the song but not sung (just like the musical form of the rest).
Child A’s enthusiasm was brought back to the class when I produced some new finger puppets. I bought a selection of different types of birds, which encourages education about the environment. I used the puppets for a new song called ‘Old Mr Woodpecker’, which has a distinct rhythm inbetween each phrase (line) to represent the Woodpecker. This works brilliantly with claves, so I gave out a selection including a mini xylophone to use. Child A watched me intently as he does when trying to pick up a new skill. The song displays the difference between rhythm and pulse in music which older children have more ability to recreate. With further instruction, which I intend to do as children progess is to distinguish between the two. Nevertheless Child A had a very good go at trying to imitate the rhythmic pattern used in ‘Old Mr Woodpecker’. I then used the xylophone to indicate different pitch and sang the song using a different voice range.
As we were all enjoying the use of the wooden percussion I kept them out for the Request section at the end of the class. And focused on songs that would emphasise on a drum beat, such as ‘Grand Old Duke of York’, which we paraded around the room to. Child A was able to walk and bang his drum without any assistance, showing signs of independence.
Judging by my overview of the last few weeks, I believe that Child A prefers songs that have a focus on instruments, any gross motor skills are better developed by the aid of instruments to encourage independent use of his body and which brings about more confidence.