REFLECTIONS ABOUT MUSICAL PLAY WITH THE CHILDREN FROM JAMES ST by Sarah Marra

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It was wonderful to see the children in both the nursery and preschool become really settled in their music routines today. They are familiar with our routines – coming to the same place, starting with the Hello song, twinkle twinkle and finishing with “music time has finished” and Ka Kite.

We have intentionally repeated some of our songs from last week to encourage learning in a familiar environment. This week I noticed a wonderful amount of singing coming from the children. They were happy to sing along with the melody and form of the songs that we had practiced previously and are now beginning to incorporate movement and dance too.

We have been working on body awareness with our body pitch songs in all of our sessions. As the developmental ages increase throughout the morning so do our pitch songs. The nursery is focusing on labelling body parts, the 2-3 year olds are now including counting up to 5 with accurate understanding of body in relation to pitch, and our 4 year olds are now including counting up to 8 and back down again.

The rakau sticks have been a wonderful exploration of hand eye coordination for all ages. The children have been encouraged to offer ideas and we have supported their offerings in song. As the routine has become more familiar we notice more children willing to share their ideas during their music time.

This morning we also encouraged the children in team work, supporting each other – this was shown in simply taking a partner for ‘row row row your boat’ in the nursery, or more complexly in the preschool with sharing their partner’s rakau to create shapes.

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Testimonials

Dearest Julie, Today you are celebrating 25 years of Julie Wylie Music in the Christchurch Transitional Cathedral with a Christmas Concert for Early Childhood. Even though we are in Canberra, Australia I want to acknowledge the profound influence your work has had on our work. Every time I go into an early childhood setting there you are on my shoulder as a major mentor, smiling that beaming smile and advocating on behalf of following the child and play-based learning, moment by moment making magical, musical connections. Spending time with you in the Champion Centre some time ago observing your work was a huge privilege. Hearing you articulate the basis of your own philosophy, your own story, your understanding of neuroscience and music, and your passion for music-making has been nothing short of inspiring. We stand on your shoulders to share the gift of music with many other children and their families here in Canberra. Today we honour your enormous contribution and carry your energy in our hearts and into every musical interaction. I hope today many other also acknowledge your enormous contribution in the field of early childhood musical play and music therapy.

Love, Emma & all at Rocking Horse Music, Canberra, Australia xxxxxxxxxxxx

Rocking Horse Music, Canberra, Australia
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