“I Have an Idea!” – Creating Music and Dance for Young Children

From the way young children react when they see me enter their classroom for a music enrichment class, you’d think I was driving an ice cream truck with Dora the Explorer. They’re running up to hug me, yelling my name, and jumping and down – often all three at the same time! Why all the […]

How to Rain

How to Rain It’s that time of year when rainy day after rainy day can often dampen the mood of the classroom. Without sunshine and fresh air room to run around, children can get restless and easily frustrated. Interesting new things to do can help distract them from that penned-in feeling and perk up their […]

STEAM Lessons: Sandpaper

Young children can discover so much from exploring the sounds and texture of sandpaper, it’s really a gold mine of learning. Well, not a GOLD mine… more like bauxite mine. More on that later. As a music teacher working with young children, I often use sand blocks, those small (but heavy, if you’re carrying around […]

Think Outside the Catalog!

When I look through school-supply catalogs, I shake my head at the amount of money some people are apparently willing to pay for little fuzzy pompoms, foam paper, feathers, sequins, stamps, stickers, and other fancy, colorful “art supplies.” Nothing against little fuzzy pompoms, but there’s a multitude of fabulous, free art materials hiding in plain […]

Games for Exploring Timbre

Games for Exploring Timbre For his fourth birthday, Brycen received a rhythm band set. He enjoyed playing with all the instruments, and his mom, Kyleigh, was delighted that he seemed to be musically inclined. Then one day she found him playing with the maracas in a rather unusual way – he was stomping on them! […]

Teaching Young Individuals

If you have a degree in early childhood education, you’ve probably spent hours and hours studying theories galore of child development. Piaget, Freud, Erikson, Dewey, Gesell, Montessori, Vygotsky and on and on and on. And hey, I love those guys (well… some more than others). They each have something to teach us about how young children […]

3 Ways to Wonder About a Sound

A toddler hearing an unfamiliar sound: Stops everything. Looks around for the source of the sound. Points excitedly to the source of the sound when she finds it. Asks the nearest adult, “What dat? What dat?” Continues asking until the adult answers: “A truck.” “The microwave beeping.” “A flute.” “My stomach growling.” Adult hearing an […]