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Teaching Music In Reception


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Hi all,

 

Me again!! Last year (NQT year) we had a music teacher who taught all music but she retired and so I will be teaching it. But I have actually never taught music before, not even on my teaching practises they had music specialist teachers!

 

So I was just wondering where the best place is to start? I have a copy of Music Express for foundation stage - do people think this is a useful scheme? last year the children had a weekly whole class session for about half an hour, is this the best way? Or should it be taught through group activities like other areas of learning. Music is also covered within our continuous provision, we have an outside music area. As there aren't that many development matters objectives specifically on music, is weekly too often? Obviously we are always signing songs!

 

Thanks

 

KST x

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I used Music Express last year with reception (and previous years with nursery) I picked and chose to suit themes we were doing rather than follow it as a scheme. I added my own ideas and linked it with KUW for activites. I felt comfortable with it as a tone deaf deliverer :o I used it as a base for a 15min/half hour beginning to an afternoon session.

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I think you have to see music in the context of Creativity. It may only have 1 or 2 ELGs but it is part of the children's creative repertoire and language - the creative development scale for EYFSP has music threaded right through, pretty much all of the scale points in one way or another have a musical element, so it is hugely important to not just rely on the taught sessions as obviously this will not give you the breadth of child initiated use of music as a medium for expressing their ideas/thoughts/feelings etc in independent ways needed to secure the CD scale points. Access to the continuous provision, which provides for tuned and untuned sound making activity is in my estimation even more important then the taught sessions. Music can also be incorporated into many other aspects of learning so becomes a dynamic part of the teaching pedagogy if used effectively so you can model it's use for expression that way too..

The taught sessions I did with my classes were more about music if you see what I mean, rhythm, tempo, names of instruments, ways to make sounds with them, sound games etc etc as well as more complex singing such as rounds and call and response songs that were more difficult to do ad hoc and we did one of these a week which I would think was ample.

 

Cx

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I do most of our music direct teaching in circle time - passing the beat - passing the instrument but playing it in different ways - making sounds with different parts of the body and passing it to someone else in the circle - making a quiet noise - making a loud noise - clap quickly - slap slowly. I also use some of the activities in Music Express for responding to music and Three Singing Pigs composing music to go with the stories.

We also use different genres of music in the background and use it for discussion.

We have just moved our continuous provision music area into the porch because the giant glockenspiel and African drums were driving me mad! (and everytime I hid them someone found them :o )

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I think you have to see music in the context of Creativity. It may only have 1 or 2 ELGs but it is part of the children's creative repertoire and language - the creative development scale for EYFSP has music threaded right through, pretty much all of the scale points in one way or another have a musical element, so it is hugely important to not just rely on the taught sessions as obviously this will not give you the breadth of child initiated use of music as a medium for expressing their ideas/thoughts/feelings etc in independent ways needed to secure the CD scale points. Access to the continuous provision, which provides for tuned and untuned sound making activity is in my estimation even more important then the taught sessions. Music can also be incorporated into many other aspects of learning so becomes a dynamic part of the teaching pedagogy if used effectively so you can model it's use for expression that way too..

The taught sessions I did with my classes were more about music if you see what I mean, rhythm, tempo, names of instruments, ways to make sounds with them, sound games etc etc as well as more complex singing such as rounds and call and response songs that were more difficult to do ad hoc and we did one of these a week which I would think was ample.

 

Cx

 

Thank you Biccy and Catma. Yes I totally agree and understand about its importance within the continuous provision and definitely see its use through cross curricular learning. Very useful points so thank you very much. Will use Music Express to support me with the taught aspect of music and will embed it throughout everything else. I already feel so much more confident - thankyou again!

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Will use Music Express to support me with the taught aspect of music and will embed it throughout everything else

 

Thats what we did. We still had other auditory aspects going on.

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Ive just bought a fascinating book to teach music in a more cross curricular way in year1, I hope!

Cant remember the title at the moment but will look it out and post later but at moment moving this to curriculum area.

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Who can tell me a bit more about their continuous provision for music / music areas indoor and out? Do you have all instruments available all the time, change them, have themes...? How do you enhance and adapt you music areas and how regularly? Oh, and any photos would be wonderful :o xx

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I have been covering music this year in a Reception class during the teacher's PPA time. I did use Music Express a bit, but also supplemented with my own ideas. I tended to focus on the basics of instrument names and how to play them, dynamics, tempo, rhythm etc. Following the half hour session that I taught I then left an activity for the children to access independently. For example, one activity I really like is 'the hoops game' (shown to me by a music adviser). Basically, you have 3 different coloured hoops in the middle of the circle and give out 3 different types of instruments to the children (e.g. shakers, scrapers and tappers). Each colour represents one group and when you (or one of the children) steps into that hoop that group plays. Have used this game with Rec up to KS2 and they all love it! After the sessions I just left a box of instruments and the hoops for the children to play with. Unfortunately, I then had to go and teach Y1 so didn't get to follow it up! A couple of really useful books are 'Three Tapping Teddies', 'Three Singing Pigs', and 'Singing Sherlock 1' (this last one is a song book with CD, but loads of extension ideas, plus kids love the songs). Hope this makes some sense.

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I have been covering music this year in a Reception class during the teacher's PPA time. I did use Music Express a bit, but also supplemented with my own ideas. I tended to focus on the basics of instrument names and how to play them, dynamics, tempo, rhythm etc. Following the half hour session that I taught I then left an activity for the children to access independently. For example, one activity I really like is 'the hoops game' (shown to me by a music adviser). Basically, you have 3 different coloured hoops in the middle of the circle and give out 3 different types of instruments to the children (e.g. shakers, scrapers and tappers). Each colour represents one group and when you (or one of the children) steps into that hoop that group plays. Have used this game with Rec up to KS2 and they all love it! After the sessions I just left a box of instruments and the hoops for the children to play with. Unfortunately, I then had to go and teach Y1 so didn't get to follow it up! A couple of really useful books are 'Three Tapping Teddies', 'Three Singing Pigs', and 'Singing Sherlock 1' (this last one is a song book with CD, but loads of extension ideas, plus kids love the songs). Hope this makes some sense.

 

Thanks very much for your ideas, sounds lovely. Thanks for recommending the books too.

Kx

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Who can tell me a bit more about their continuous provision for music / music areas indoor and out? Do you have all instruments available all the time, change them, have themes...? How do you enhance and adapt you music areas and how regularly? Oh, and any photos would be wonderful :o xx

I'm in the process of developing this area so would be pleased to hear what others are doing as well. What we currently do is... we have this music stand that we recently bought which has lots of instruments attached to a frame that we have outside, we also have pots and pans tied to a fence that the children can bang etc! Inside we have these 'storyphones' which i have uploaded different stories and songs to.

 

This year I am going to have some independent tasks for the children to complete over the week so think I will sometimes set a musically to give a focus for using this area. One idea is to provide different junk for the children to make their own instruments.

 

Kx

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I use Jolly music..plus my own ideas from the other books mentioned above and it's really easy to follow! Google 'Jolly music' - it's from the same publishers as Jolly phonics and some actions link in well!Hope that's clear.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Try the scheme Beat Baby too and I have found the Gateshead Music Scheme quite helpful too. I also inserted Music Express in places to make it more linked to current topic.

Let me know if they were any good to you. :o

Edited by Guest
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  • 2 years later...

Hi there, Music Express is one of many useful tools in offering musical experiences to young children.

 

Try Little Birdsong Book 1 and 2. These are hugely appropriate to babies, toddlers and young children, with uncomplicated songs using appropriate pitch, and great fun to engage in musical games.

 

Tips - circle singing, sharing and turn taking is a lovely way to insert music into the nursery day. Also, when starting the day try lots of silly sounds to warm up the voice, body and to relax children (particularly newcomers and those with English as their second language EAL). Make siren sounds (show them a police car/ambulance), make sliding down a slide sounds - do the movement with your arms, make plane flying sounds, ball bouncing sounds - pretend to pass this. Now pass a big, little, tiny, light, heavy ball. Bounce it, then pass to others.

 

Lots of clapping, then stop (DON'T say "stop!"). Allow them to 'hear' the silence.

Lots of hand rubbing, then stop (again, no speak).

Lots of shivering, then stop. It's the motion of excitement that then encourages your group to begin the next activity.

 

All these little, fun exercises are marvellous when introducing a story, song or the next activity.

Above all, give your group time to create sounds and song, if you listen you will be able to support creative music making that comes from every part of the nursery. Have fun!

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Nursery world magazine did loads of articles a while back about music which i sometimes dip into, you can access them from their website but you might have to subscribe first.

 

i have pots and pans and cutlery etc hanging on the fence outside, i also have some hanging baskets attached to the wall which we put instruments in. We also have a basket of general instruments inside which i have also included sweet tins, bottles with lids in. some children do make instruments in the creative area but they always want to take them home. I also have a CD player and CD basket on the carpet and this years class love dancing to the music with instruments, scarfs or ribbons. sometimes i leave out a type of instruments from the schools store depending what we are doing e.g. at Christmas had the bells out, we have had the drums out because the boys wanted to be in a band at one point.

we also use our outdoor blocks to set up a stage sometimes outside and are planning when the weather gets better to have a talent show. Last year i had some sheet music out and the girls used to pretend to be a choir/ band - this evolved after watching the school band and talking what why they have funny writing in front of them!

 

i try and fit music into my weekly routine and like another post said use music to introduce instruments and music skills. so if we have a spare moment we will do some clapping games, or call and response or sing a song. We use songs for transition and getting children to do things like lining up etc. I also try and use instruments in P.E. as well e.g. moving to beat of tamboreen.

 

I have just done an essay on music for my masters and have really had to think about the way i use music in the classroom and came to the conclusion that its something that needs to be integrated into your practice and teaching and isn't something that can really be taught in an isolated way. Music i found is like an language like teaching CLL it is incorporated in everything. I did find something that i think is interesting music fills many teachers with fear because they imagine they need to have particular skills,

However the same teachers will quiet happily help children to create pictures, stories, poems or plays! And are not at all discouraged by the fact that they have never exhibited a painting, published a poem or written a script.

We need to allow children to play and experiment with sounds, and see them in relation to their emergent skills and not expect pupils to produce symphonies. The problem lies in understanding what is expected of the children at that particular stage of development. In art for example we wouldn’t be surprised if a 4 year old drew a car with all 4 wheels on one side but we wouldn’t expect a 7 year old to draw a person with arms coming out their head.

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don't know where you are based but if you are anywhere near the south of England try and attend one of these workshops

http://www.dally.org.uk/Steppingnotes.htm

they are fantastic and have changed my approach to music completely...there are some ideas for links to other sites on there too which you might want to investigate. Nickil's approach is quite different and very well thought out...when i went on his course the head from the Yehudi Menhuin school was also attending!!

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  • 8 months later...

Hi Emz321 - I am currently undertaking my masters and I am very interested in the impact of music within the primary school - can you recommend any good publications?

 

Many thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here are the music related references from my essay if that helps:

Davies, C. (1986). Say it till a song comes (reflections on songs invented by children 3-13). British Journal of Music Education, 3, 279-294. DOI: 10.1017/S0265051700000796

Bayley, R., & Featherstone, S. (2010). Child-Initiated Learning. London: A&C Blacks Publisher Limited.

Logue, V. & Parsons, V. (n.d.) Play and Learning … Creative Development. United Kingdom: Lancashire County Council.

Pound, L., & Harrison, C. (2003) Supporting Musical Development in the Early Years. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Pugh, A., & Pugh, L. (1998). Music in the Early Years. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Ouvry, Q., (2004) Sounds like Playing: Music and the Early Years Curriculum. London: The British Association for Early Childhood Education.

Swanwick, K., & Tilman, J. (1986). The Sequence of musical development: a study of children’s composition. British Journal of Music Education, 3 (3), 305- 339 DOI: 10.1017/S0265051700000814

Young, S. (2003). Music with the under-fours. London: RoutledgeFalmer

Young, S. (2009). Music 3-5. Abingdon, Oxon, Routledge.

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Guest FranCarpenter

Music Express is OK as a basic resource, but there are so many other lovely musical activities - many you can invent yourself! For starters, when telling a story, get the children to choose instrumental and vocal sounds to add sound effects. Don't over do it, keep it simple. Add instruments when you sing nursery rhymes, let the children choose which and when. Leave a pile of instruments in the middle of your outdoor area and let the children create a band of their own (you can do the same indoors, but select quiet instruments - shakers, quiet scrapers and little tappers, small drums with very soft beaters etc in interesting shapes - see ebay for small cheap but unusual instruments!!). Get a simple keyboard for your classroom and let the children experiment and then play what they have created to the class. There are so many simple ideas to integrate into everyday nursery or reception activities. I'd say a session of 20 mins of singing/music a couple of times a week (if you can do it every day marvellous!) plus other integrated musical activities throughout the week is the way to go for little ones. And keep a bag or box of small (again, I'd say 'quieter') instruments, enough for one for each child in your room to use whenever the mood takes you!

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Guest FranCarpenter

Things like Stepping Notes and Dalcroze, Orff and Kodaly are terrific if you have time to invest in learning how to teach them and go on courses etc, but for most teachers of EYs just enthusing about music and doing lots of singing and playing, in creative ways of the children's invention and choosing will teach them a lot. Also regular slots where you get children to listen to music, sometimes sitting quietly, sometimes moving to the music, sometimes painting to music, are also invaluable activities in opening a child's mind and ears to new sorts of music. Showing children how to hold instruments, how to make unusual sounds, how to look after instruments and respect them (not just bashing them at high volume!) are easy for any teacher to do and set them on a strong early musical path. Etc etc.

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