We held our second music class today and, as expected, it was a big hit! The Tugboats love to sing and dance; we do it quite frequently throughout the day. While it takes a few tries to learn a song well enough to sing along, they love having the opportunity and practice to do so. Our weekly music classes give them just such a chance! The children were excited to hear songs from last week that they recognized and to begin memorizing them for themselves. They were also excited to see the return of the big stretchy band that we all held onto so that we could lean way back without falling!
One of the types of songs Jessica teaches the children is called a substitution song, which means that she establishes a few verses at first, and later asks for input from the children to replace her verses. She’ll demonstrate different physical movements, for example, and then ask the children to contribute other types of physical movements. It’s fairly common for children to freeze up when asked to generate an idea at this time, but after one or two ideas come up, they love to chime in. One way we’ll support them in this type of quick-thinking is to help them brainstorm ideas before they are called upon so that they have a cache of ideas at the ready.
The Tugboats are also enjoying the opportunity to play “real” musical instruments, as opposed to the toy instruments we have in the classroom. Jessica brought egg shakers, hand bells, cymbals, rhythm sticks and a variety of other instruments whose names I’m not even sure of! For the children who are naturally musical, this is the most fun part of class: they get to play along to a song from the mp3 player. Many of the children are able to quickly determine the rhythm of the song and keep time along. As a person with minimal musical talent, I find this to be especially impressive in our young students!