Are you faced with the daunting task of running your very first toddler music lesson?
Never fear, this music lesson plan works. It’s called We Play Music and you can find all the music tracks and activity suggestions on the We Play Music lesson plan page. Let me hold your hand for a while and pretty soon you’ll be planning your own sessions and loving how well they run, even with the inevitable surprises.
But first things first. You’re going to need some resources. Here’s the list:
A media player e.g CD player, Ipod and speakers or interactive whiteboard with the best speakers you can afford. (Small note – I use my iPhone now in a light-weight portable speaker dock after I dropped my CD player while walking my trolley of instruments in to a child care centre in the middle of the city on a rainy day. The kind lady in her late sixties who helped me get my load back together said, “Where’s your ipod?” which kicked me into the times! So now I have hundreds of Musical Child tracks as mp3s on my iPhone and I can instantly access all my Playlists, no matter what the situation.)
Instruments for this lesson, We Play Music, are bells, tapping sticks, castanets and drums, enough for one each per child. If you can’t provide one drum each, such as these small fired clay drums, you could either use a few large gathering drums with several children per drum or substitute another small percussion instrument such as shakers.
Coloured scarves, balls or hoops for the music appreciation activity and hobby-horses or once again scarves for the drama and movement activity.
Hobby horses are very engaging but if you can’t afford them or don’t have the storage, you can tuck your coloured scarves into your clothing to make a convincing horsie tail and most of the time, everyone is perfectly happy.
Nursery rhyme picture books for the story songs, Baa Baa Black Sheep and Little Miss Muffett, at the end of the lesson.
Next, you need to organise a clear space with room for the children to sit comfortably in a circle for active work, move around like horses, dance freely, stretch out to rest and sit in front of you for story-time. A carpeted area is best for seated and lying down activities but for whole body work you can make do by dancing around tables on a hard floor if you have no other choice. Chairs should be stacked away.
The major preparation work for the group leader is in learning how to sing the songs. You can cheat for a while by having lyric charts on your wall or whiteboard but the way to keep a child fascinated is by singing all the lyrics to a song confidently. In this lesson you’ll be substituting your children’s name into the song so you’d better practise that! I recommend that you use backing tracks, not the track with vocals, so the children hear your voice as the live music in their day. This is vitally important.
There are 11 short songs you need to sing for We Play Music. They are mostly traditional kids’ songs. But if you don’t know how a song goes, click this link to the We Play Music page, scroll down to the bottom of the page and listen to the previews there.
You can save yourself hours of preparation time – simply buy the Lesson Plan and make your life easier. Click here We Play Music
Here’s the list of songs for We Play Music:
Hello Song; Pack Away Song; A Ram Sam Sam; Fingers Creeping; Ruby Goes High; Eency Weency Spider; This is the Way We Play; Horsie, Horsie; Little Red Caboose; Six Little Ducks; Charlie Over the Water, Baa Baa Black Sheep; Little Miss Muffett and Goodbye Song.