Jump to content
About Us



Recommended Posts

I would really appreciate your ideas for using music in preschool. We have a daily singing time and the children are taught a wide range of songs and more traditional nursery rhymes, but come unstuck when using musical instruments and introducing the children to recorded music. We do use percussion instruments to accompany our singing but not very often, but don't progress from there. none of the staff feel confident with this. What music do you listen to? Any suggestions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am always a little surprised that the most popular activity is "choose an instrument you can play"


We have 14 children sitting in a cirle with all the musical instruments on the floor in the middle.


The children pass something round (soft toy or whatever you like!) whilst singing

"choose an instrument you can play, you can play, choose an instrument you can play, which is your favourite?"


Whichever child has the toy when the singing stops gets to choose an instrument. THe toy stays still and we all sing


(Childs name) plays the (whatever they have chosen!)

repeat this line

(Childs name) plays the (whatever!) that is his/her favourite.


The whole process then starts again until all children have an instrument. I am surpirsed they love it sooooo much as it takes quite a while but they dont get bored and know their turn will come. At the end we all play together.

It's a great way of introduced correct instrument names too ( had to look a few up as we have some weird and wonderful ones!!)


Other times, for shorter sessions, we try playing quietly/loudly/quickly/ slowly and they love that too!!


Ohh and chinese ribbons! long length of ribbons on fine dowelling rod and they waft and wave them about to chinese music - great fun, they all get knotted together :D:D:D:D:D


listening to rythmn in their name and clapping and then doing with instruments- oops think I better stop now! :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds great to me, Geraldine do go on!

There are some good books "tapping teddies" I'll check the names out and post them later.

Also Black have just published a new music scheme called Music Express and theres a foundation book, about £30. Bought it but haven't used it but realtes to stepping stones. you can get sample pages off their website.


Helen recommended something too so look in the recommendations?


Also www.m4t.co.uk is well worth a look.


Have fun

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I teach in manchester and we use the Manchester Music scheme, which goes from nursery to Y6 and is brilliant - loads of activites and a CD with the songs on. You can order it from Manchester Music Service (phone number via the LEA I suppose). The whole scheme progresses well and the sessions are enjoyable and easy to tech. One thing that makes life easy is a red / green flag (put a smiley face on the green flag). For nursery, the first thing they learn is to play on green and put their instruments down on red, with their hands on their knees. Our just three year olds soon manage it and it makes it easy to stay in control of the whole music cacophony. :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We use the Gateshead scheme for the Foundation Stage. It's excellent consists of a file of lessons and a CD. cost £25 from Gateshead Music Service. The songs are very easy and good for non specialists.


Y1 to Y6 we have been using Lively Music but we don't like it so are changing to LCP in September so not sure what it is like although it is the scheme Durham LEA are promoting along with Gateshead Foundation Stage.


Anne2 : :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I often dip into a book called "Bobby Shaftoe, Clap your hands" by Sue Nicholls (A and C Black). It includes songs and games that are all set to familiar Nursery melodies. The songs are in four sections, each one aimed at developing children's musical skills. So there's action, movement, imagination songs, exploring different sounds songs, listening skill songs and making patterns songs. There are some fantastic ideas, which my children love to do and ask for over and over again. They particularly love the Mrs Bear game which is great for listening skills. We adapt it slightly:


Children sit in a circle. One child is chosen to be Mrs or Mr Bear and goes to sleep in the middle of the circle. She has some bells next to her in her cave (or similar instrument). We all sing (to the tune of Oats and Beans and Barley Grow)


Mrs Bear lives in a cave

Mrs Bear lives in a cave

Now who will dare, now who will dare

To steal a sound from Mrs Bear?


I silently point to one child in the circle who must creep in, "steal" the bells and go back and sit down. We all put our hands behind our backs and shout "Wake up Mrs Bear" then all pretend we're shaking the bells behind our back. Mrs Bear has to listen carefully and guess who has stolen her bells.


A firm favourite in our class.


The book has many other activities similar to this.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

One idea I use a lot to get the children thinking about the sounds instruments make is Yankee Doodle.


Yankee Doodle came to town

Riding on a pony

Stuck a feather in his hat

And called it macaroni.


The children look at the instruments as a group and decide on sounds, or actions they make.


We sing Yankee Doodle a few times. After a while I suggest that the feather could be called a different name. What about whistle-oni, jingle-oni, ,tambourini, and so on, the children can gallop around the room until they hear the name of the horse and get an instrument that makes the right noise, they can then march around the room, playing the instrument (you could call out loud, quiet, slowly etc) until they hear the instruction, or sound to return the instrument and gallop around the room again, waiting for the next instrument. we can do it as girls, boys, wearing pink etc.

This encourages listening skills too.

My kids love it they can play it for ages and ages

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone above mentioned it but get Music Express. My reception class love the songs and it has CD rom as well as 2 music cd's and great ideas for pre school and reception.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the ideas.

Susan, I've tried the website you mentioned but it isn't recognised! Is the address right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


The school where I was last on placement had lost the Manchester Music Syllabus, so I had to plan a series of music lessons from scratch! I borrowed a book off a friend "Three Tapping Teddies" (not sure who published it, but can find out) and developed a series of lessons for the nursery children. I had three teddy bears (Daddy, Mummy and Baby Bear,) they each had different sized paw prints (Large, medium and small,) I used three different colours of paper to put the paw prints on, laminated them and put magnetic tape on the back. I then asked the children what sound they thought each paw would make (loud, medium and quiet) We then practised clapping (different volumes) the different paw prints (you coluld also stand up and stamp!). We then used the paws to compose our own sound patterns (the magnetic tape on the back enabled the children to create the patterns themselves as they stuck to a magnetic whiteboard) and then clapped them out. We then used untuned percussion instruments to play the sound patterns. When the children had the instruments they found it hard to play one beat for one paw print, but they got better with practise. I also set up a music zone in a corner of the classroom where the children (no more than 5 at a time otherwise it could get too noisy!) could experiement with the different instruments and compose their own sound patterns to play together. I had to teach a lesson last week at a different school (desperately job hunting!) and decided to teach this lesson to a reception class, they absolutely loved it and picked up the concepts much quicker than my nursery class. I think this activity could be extended to include tuned percussion - using high and low for the different paw prints. I also found it useful to play a CD with relaxing classical music at the end of the lesson to calm the children down.

Hope that makes sense and is useful, it's not actually that complicated and the children enjoy it! Wish I was more ICT literate and could add some photos.

Good luck

Jo :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jo that sounds wonderful!

We have actually been lucky enough to have a musician in school this year who taught in a very similar way but the children's knowledge of animals.

Four feet so 4 beats or footsteps and laid out the numbers 1, 2 , 3 ,4 on the floor. If they were elephants they had to play slowly and jaguars fast. Then he introduced "and" with + sign and again the beat got faster, if he wanted silence the children said "shh".

They responded really well and were able to incorporate this into simple ring type singing activities too when supported.

As he was primarily a drummer, the instruments he used were drums of various types.

Altogether a noisy day when he was in school!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)