Creating New Timbres

Of course, there are really no new ideas, only new combinations (or arrangements) of existing ideas. So learning to combine and arrange ideas in new ways is an essential part of creative thinking. When young children have learned the concept of timbre and heard many different examples, they can “create” their own timbres using familiar instruments, objects […]

STEAM Learning with my Favorite December Story

December can really be a magical time of year. I love finding songs and stories that convey that magic in a way that ALL children can understand and appreciate together. “Polar Bear Night” has been a favorite of mine – and my students – since I first discovered it. Talk about a simple plot. A […]

Great Ways to Explore Timbre With String

(Like young children, cats are enthusiastic and relentless scientists.) For years I’ve used strings (mostly ukulele strings and rubber bands) to help young children explore and understand how pitch (the highness and lowness of sounds) works. I plan to write more on this later, and I’ve shared several of these activities in my latest book, “Exploring […]

Surprises at See-Level

What’s on the wall next to the door of your classroom? I mean at a level where your students can see? If the answer is “nothing,” you might want to consider adding some intriguing pictures – artwork or photos of animals, space, plants, other cultures, – anything they may not have seen before that’s beautiful […]

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 […]