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Pack Away Song

pre-primary, junior primary, pre-k or kindy kids

What do you do when you’ve been given the job of planning the music lessons for the pre-primary, junior primary, pre-k or kindy kids in your workplace? Head for the aspirin!

After you calm down, you ask your colleagues what to do.   They say “There’s heaps of stuff online – just search on preschool music and you’ll be right”.  So you do that and find hundreds of thousands of results!

Here’s a way to get your head around teaching 3-5 year-olds.   Search for twelve different activities.  These twelve activities make up most of the lesson plan we use to run lessons or sessions when we go into a kindergarten, school or child care centre.

Get out of the Internet maze

The links take you to the Musical Child resources or you can search specifically for other activities using the underlined terms in your browser.

  1. Social Convention: Sing a Hello Song naming each child. It fulfils the social convention of greeting everyone for the day.
  2. Body Percussion: Sing a body percussion song and watch the concentration on their faces as they coordinate brain and body right at the top of the lesson.
  3. Finger Play: Perform a finger play to stimulate the touch sensory pathways. This playful working of the fine muscles will enhance control over individual fingers so that writing, drawing and playing advanced musical instruments (e.g. recorder, piano and guitar) will come easily when needed.  These are the muscles that tire quickly for many children when they are expected to learn writing at school.
  4. Memory Song: Use a prop or some number or letter cards with images to teach a memory song to pay attention to those thing you just have to learn “by heart” eg the sequence of the numbers forwards and backwards, the days of the week, the letters of the alphabet or song lyrics in a language other than English.
  5. Rhythm Instruments: Hand out or let them come and collect a set of three different small, hand-held percussion rhythm instruments e.g. sleigh bells, finger cymbals and shakers.  Let them experiment for a minute or so while everyone settles down.   Then play the same instrument at the same time together while you sing a song with clear places for instrument-playing, e. g. different animals.  Get them to follow your cues as to which instrument to play.  Otherwise, if it’s free choice you overload their hearing.
  6. Social Convention:  Clear the instruments while you sing a Pack Away Song, following the social convention of clearing up the workspace before starting something new.
  7. Melody and Harmony Instruments:  Give out, or let them collect a melody and harmony instrument, such as chime bars and sing a song with a strong melody while experimenting with ways to play the instrument.
  8. Drama and Movement Horse-riding:  They have been sitting for a long time so switch to whole body movement, we always use a horse-riding song at this point to encourage strong locomotor activity and dramatic play.
  9. Drama and Movement:  It’s good to try a drama song that follows some kind or narrative as long as you have enough props for all to have a turn, e g doctor’s stethoscopes and sick dollies etc.
  10. Games and Dances:  A game or dance is beneficial and fun if you have enough adults to keep it together.  You can encourage them to mimic your actions and make up their own.
  11. Story Song:  A short rest is necessary after all that activity so story songs work well at this juncture.  If the song is short we always sing it at least twice but a long song requires concentration and should be performed quite dramatically just once.
  12. Social Convention: We sing a Goodbye Song to let the children know we are leaving and music time is over.  Then it’s time for hugs or special conversations that have been waiting on their lips!

So that’s it, 12 activities to make up a long music session.  You can do them all or select a few and run several short sessions throughout the week.  Be sure to come back and leave a reply below. We’d love to hear from you.

Remember, there’s nothing quite like music!