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Recently I was asked how long one of our Lesson Plans lasts. The short answer is it’s up to you. That’s the beauty of having a whole series of Music Activities that you can run in any order. However, if you want some structure to get you started you can follow our suggestions.
In a setting such as a church hall with parents and children I generally do a whole lesson lasting 45 minutes with ten or so activities. Then I repeat the whole lesson the following week.
If you think 45 minutes is too long you are not alone. However, we do have a successful time together because there is so much variety in a Musical Child Lesson Plan with games, movement, dances, props and instruments. Towards the end of each lesson I include a short music appreciation activity, generally dancing to classical music with scarves followed by a restful times with lullabies, nursery rhymes or story songs with illustrated books.
Importantly, the children are given many opportunities throughout the lesson to exercise agency and think and do for themselves so the time flies. I run 40 lessons a year for each age group that way. When I first started to develop the programs I used to do five different lesson plans over five weeks and then repeat them all but I soon found that repeating the lesson the very next week gave better learning outcomes.
In a childcare or kindergarten setting for toddlers or kindergarten I might not get through a whole lesson plan in one session so the next week I’ll do the bits I missed and drop activities I did the first time.
Sometimes I’ll work with a group of mixed ages and do most of a Bounce and Sing lesson plan for 1-3 yr olds and then after 30 minutes take the older children away for more complex musical tasks from Sing and Play such as dances or songs with puppets or props.
If I have a group of babies I’ll run a twenty minute activity session and perhaps take my guitar and sing nursery rhymes for the last ten minutes making the whole session no longer than thirty minutes in all. The working year goes for more than 40 weeks in child care settings so I might do three or four lessons for three weeks or else I’ll make up playlists of favourites activities rather than following one of my Lesson Plans.
For a children’s party I’ll make up a playlist with the parent to suit the guests ages and the interests of the children. They usually like the traditional songs and games so they and the other adults can join in.
A music lesson can last for one activity or ten activities, it’s flexible and depends on the needs of your learners and the time/place constraints. Once you have the individual activities you can string them together in any order you like. Just make sure you provide music education regularly and often. Musicality is one of the things that distinguishes us from the other species and it needs to be nurtured.
Here is the format for 1-3 years-old Bounce and Sing Part 1 We Play Music.
Here is the format for 3-5 years- old Sing and Play Part 1 Beautiful Farm
Remember music – there’s nothing quite like it!