“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 […]

What Can They Really Understand?

I’ve always wondered about doing science “experiments,” like the good old homemade volcano, with young children, Pre-K’s and kindergartners. After a week or two (let alone a few months) how much will they remember? Will they even be able to tell you about baking soda and vinegar?  If these activities include plenty of time for […]

Let’s Talk About Timbre

Let’s Talk About Timbre Can you tell the difference between the sound of a piano and the sound of a drum? Of course you can. Young children can do it. VERY young children. But can you describe how you can tell the difference? Um… That’s what I thought. Not easy, is it? The particular sound of […]

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 […]

Exploring the Sounds of Egg Cartons

Exploring the Sounds of Egg Cartons I started using egg cartons in my early childhood music classes many years ago. They always interested me because they’re so light, yet because of their structure they can make sharp and impressively loud sounds. At first, I had my classes simply tap the cartons on the floor in […]