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 […]

Singing and Signing with “Bear Wants More”

The popularity of Karma Wilson’s “Bear” series of picture books is richly deserved. Charming characters, rhythmic text, and easy-to-follow, often repetitive storylines make these books perfect for reading aloud to young children. As a music teacher, I’m always on the lookout for stories which are easily “musicalized” – either with sound effects like stomping or […]

My Favorite “La Bamba”

I’m planning to use this in a class soon and thought I’d give a shout-out…there are a lot of versions of “La Bamba” out there, but Daria’s is my go-to version to use with young children. First, it’s the most authentically Latin-sounding, in rhythm and in instrumentation. Daria’s vocal performance is lovely and has an […]

“His Jumpers Three”

Young children express a remarkable amount of creative thinking through physical improvisation. They explore their bodies’ possibilities for power, speed, range of motion, directionality, and emotional expressiveness on a daily basis to an extent that would exhaust a professional athlete or dancer. Games and activities that incorporate opportunities for movement improvisation are a very natural […]

“Bailar Rapido” – for children who like to dance faster and faster!

“Bailar Rapido” is from an amazing CD with the Best. Title. Ever. – “Salsa for Kittens and Puppies,” by Baby Loves Salsa. The CD comes with a storybook about a plucky band of animal musicians who celebrate their friend’s birthday by making music all over New York City! The CD and story are just filled […]

Secrets of the Stradivarius

Violins made by the Italian masters Stradivari  and Guarneri more than three hundred years ago are still the finest in the world. The brilliance and resonance of their tone is legendary, and scientists and musicians alike have been puzzling over the “secret” to the instruments’ tone for centuries. Finally, researchers may have discovered a clue: […]

Possibly the Best Song About Geometric Shapes EVER!

Is it truly hip to be square? This amazing song gives one adorable shape’s opinion. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll learn facts about polygons. Although the ending is indeed rather gruesome and disturbing if you really think about it (my advice: don’t), the shape is perfectly okay, in fact delighted, with the outcome. This song […]