TEACHERS ‘ REFLECTIONS ABOUT THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MUSICAL PLAY WITHIN THEIR EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTRE

Nursery Music reflection (0-2 ½ Years)

The children are now responding to our weekly music sessions and seem more comfortable and relaxed enabling them to participate more freely. The older nursery children are now recognising the tunes and joining in with the songs they are now familiar with through the repetition and revisiting that Julie and Sarah are using in the sessions. The younger children are following the instructions in the songs and following the lead of their older peers and teachers supporting the concept of tuakana-teina and a reciprocal learning environment.  All the children are really enjoying the session and enthusiastically join in with extended concentration and it has become a wonderfully joyous time for all of us.

The nursery teachers have all observed and had conversations on how much more the children are singing in their play. Some of the children are replicating the pitch songs we have been doing, “ba, ba, baaaa” etc and have initiated it all on their own as they play. We have also noticed the children are much quicker to respond to music when we play it through the sound system. There has even been an increase in the amount of parents coming into the centre and asking about certain songs that they have heard their children singing at home and if they can learn them so as to join in. This has been a fantastic response and shows how the tamariki have taken their learning from preschool and using it to express themselves in other environments and contexts.

The nursery teachers have all made a conscious effort to incorporate music more into their practice, not just at set music times. The teachers have begun to use the concepts of pattern, rhythm and pitch into a lot of different aspects of their day to day teaching, from spontaneous teaching moments to routine times. The children respond really well to the singing especially when they recognise the pitch or a tune that they have learnt during music time.

The music sessions have been beneficial for both the children and teachers in many ways. It has given the children new ways to express themselves, especially with many nursery children being non-verbal and it has provided new means of communication between both the children and teachers. The teachers have learnt new strategies of incorporating music into their practice as well new ideas to freshen up our existing music programme. It has been a great reminder of how important music is for our very young children and made the nursery environment much more musical.

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Kiwi, Pukeko Music Reflections (2 ½ – 3 ½ year olds)

The things we have noticed in the preschool with having the music sessions integrated on a weekly basis is that children are including music elements in their own directed play and singing among themselves and to each other. Children have been making up their own words to familiar tunes used during our music sessions in all areas of the curriculum.

The children have also been talking more about music and our Thursday sessions and ask throughout the week “is Sarah coming today?” The teachers are singing more throughout the day and incorporate this into our routines, especially transitions more frequently. The teachers are using a more varied range through teacher led music sessions. We are feeling more comfortable using our extended range of resources during music time since the beginning of our professional development and weekly music sessions.

The music play programme has been very beneficial for our whole centre and we are all on the same page and bounce ideas between each other more frequently. We have also felt more relaxed about extending our duration of session times. Other staff have said they have become more confident in teaching music and use it more for instructional teaching purposes. Children have been singing more and have been particularly responsive to body part songs.

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Kea and Moa Music Reflections (3 ½ – 5 year olds)

We have noticed that the children are now more settled when participating in music sessions which is great to see as it allows our music sessions to start quicker. Children are very excited when they here that music is about to start, a favourite song of theirs to sing is ‘Bop it in the rocket’ which they can now perform without any teacher help. This song is also hummed during the day by some children while outside playing, we have observed children sitting in small groups tapping out beats on their laps with their hands while humming ‘Bop it in the rocket’ and also ‘The wheels on the bus’. It is interesting to also note that the children are singing/humming these familiar tunes outside and inside, sitting at the kai table and even while using the wharepaku (toilet) so this has been a very positive area of interest for the children.

Children are very much talking about the music programme, they know that Thursday is their special music time with Sarah, they look forward to these and we have overheard conversations about ‘who is going to sit next to Sarah’ so there is a sense of excitement and expectation with the children.

We have been singing instructions to the children (sometimes we don’t realise we are doing it) but we have found this a very effective teaching tool especially when the children lose concentration during group time, we have found it a great way to bring the children back  around…the tune and actions to ‘head..head..shoulders..shoulders..tummy..tummy…knees…knees…feet…feet’.

Very responsive children!!

We have definitely grown in confidence in this area and this is reflected in my music sessions. The music play programme has been of huge benefit to the centre in my opinion as it is not only having a positive impact with our children but also with our teachers showing more confidence and range of musical activities such as bean bags, rainbow ring, rakau etc.

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Testimonials

Dear Julie.
My name is Xiaolei Gong. I am a student teacher and I attended your music training course in Auckland on Saturday 14th May, I absolutely adore you.
That training helps me gain the knowledge about how wonderful music is, and introduces some ideas on helping and supporting children who have Autism.
I tried the parachute at my mat time with the children, playing the “Up and Down and Around and Around” song track 16 from your CD “MAGICAL MUSICAL PLAY” and they love it!!! I now believe music can help them to calm down.
BIG THANKS

Xiaolei Gong, Student Teacher
Coming up…
  1. Kidsfest – We are Playing Music

    July 19 @ 1:00 am - 1:30 pm
  2. African Dancing and Drumming for Parents and Kids

    July 19 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
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