James St Preschool and Nursery Professional Development – Musical Play

Final Reflection by Sarah Marra

It has been such a pleasure to work alongside staff in such a beautiful, nurturing preschool and nursery. Over the past eight weeks I have noticed wonderful amounts of musical play happening organically around the James St environment. Children are singing as they play independently, sharing familiar songs as they play together, keeping the beat on the playground and exploring the natural sounds of their outside world.

Musical play has helped to secure routines in a positive, playful way. The preschoolers are lining up with ease to a familiar, repetitive song; the nursery children are happily following daily routines with sung, clear instructions; all of the children are able to regulate and prepare themselves for learning when deep pressure and song are united in basic routines.

I have watched the staff confidence grow in taking group music sessions as well as in using song to underpin routines and activities. Group music sessions have become relaxed, improvisational, and harmonious.

One of the most exciting things about using music to develop movement, communication, social interactions and understanding is having the privilege of witnessing “firsts”. The children at James St Preschool and Nursery were no exception. I was so privileged to be able to use music to underpin a child’s first steps, a child’s first social group engagement, a child’s first understanding of their own space in relation to others, as well as many other special moments.

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Testimonials

Julie, I just wanted to tell you about our car trip last week. My almost one year old and I were listening to your CD ‘Rock a Bye Blues’and when the children on the CD laughed I could hear Elijah giggling too. Then when you were singing quietly pah pah pah i could hear a little quiet voice from the back seat copying. Well I was amused by now and as I listened when twinkle twinkle little star came on he even sang a few notes. I just couldn’t stop smiling and I thought Julie really has it right. Your music classes that we attend and the CD’s are just fabulous and aimed perfectly for babies and preschoolers. Lovely to see what a wonderful impact your music is having in enriching our sons life.

Victoria Niha, Parent
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