Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Go Back To School SINGING!

Hi there!  I'm Miss Carole of Macaroni Soup, and it’s that time again!  Many students are already back in classrooms, and those that aren’t will be there soon.  Preschoolers and Kindergarteners look forward with anticipation, excitement and sometimes a little anxiety.  How do we make the first weeks less stressful and more engaging? 

                               MAKE MUSIC!

Children of all abilities enjoy the experience of making music – singing, dancing, and playing rhythm instruments.  It’s never wasted time!  
  • Healthy social interaction and emotional connections made in those first weeks will last all year long.  
  • Plus active participation in music is a great platform on which to build early literacy skills such as rhyme, pattern, sequence, vocabulary, and phonological awareness (that's the short list!)
  • Children need to connect the neural pathways in their brains in multiple ways - Active Music provides yet another access point.

I love to put a simple little ditty such as “Back To School” into their heads.  It’s a positive message about school, and takes less than 15 seconds to sing!  It's also a steady beat - you can clap it joyfully as you're singing!

BACK TO SCHOOL!                           By C. Stephens c.2016

Back to school, back to school            

I’m so glad we’re back to school!

Learning something every day

School is where we learn and play!

Now what’s next?  Add something with motions that are easy to follow and repetitive.  A “zipper song” is perfect – the song repeats itself verse after verse, changing the motion each time.  Think “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” – the animal and animal’s sound changes but the song is basically the same.  

Here’s one of my favorites:

Tune:  “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”

My hands are starting to wiggle

My hands are starting to wiggle

My hands are starting to wig-gle

Around and around and around!

Easy, right?  Do what the song tells you to do, turning around in place on the last line.  Now sing it again with “foot”.  Next?  “Hips!”  Yup, it’s Elvis Time!  “Head” – sing it softer so that they do a gentler shaking of their heads.  It’s safer!  If you have space to really get the wiggles going, end with:

Now all of me is a-wiggle
Now all of me is a-wiggle
Now all of me is a-wig-gle
Around and around and around,
Sit down!

Need more help? You can hear a clip of this song on my "Sticky Bubble Gum" cd or on its' Song Of The Month page - HERE, where you'll find even more instructions.  

Next?  What could be more fun than singing the alphabet in different languages?  Um, I mean animal languages!  “There’s a Dog in School” by Bill Wellington is such fun, AND it’s also a zipper song.  Children will get the hang of it quickly.
What are we going to do?

(on my “H.U.M.” cd – listen to it HERE)

There’s a dog in school – OH NO!

What are we going to do?

As long as there’s a dog in school

He’ll have to learn his alphabet, too!

(woof the traditional ABC song – the whole thing!)

For motions – I put hands to cheeks, a la “Home Alone” face for “oh no!”  Questioning hands to sides for second line.  Waggle pointer finger for third line, and hands on hips for fourth line.  But you can make up your own motions, too!

    What other kind of animal could be in school?  Let the children make suggestions.  Be prepared for ALL kinds of animals beyond cats, ducks, etc.  Rabbits?  Let’s all HOP the alphabet!  Giraffes?  Well, I had to do a little research on this one!  The zoo docent told me that giraffes have a very long neck, but no vocal chords, so they can’t make a sound.  What do they do?  They nibble leaves off tall trees – one hand in the air making a mouth opening and closing, and sing the words “nibble nibble, nibble nibble, etc!

    Remember to change the gender of the animal, too – “She’ll have to learn her alphabet, too!” I’ve found that there are lots of male pronouns in music for children – cows, cats and more can be females!


Now let’s get dancing!  A simple circle or partner dance will be just the thing.  Try “B-I-N-G-O!” for a great circle dance.  Hear it on my “H.U.M. – Highly UsableMusic”  recording, and check out the complete directions on the Song Of The Month page on my website HERE.  Be sure to do the "surprise ending!"

"Jump Jim Joe" - tap your toe!

OR teach “Jump Jim Joe” a favorite partner dance for 4’s and older – or start with “The Muffin Man Dance” – for 3’s and younger.  Both were featured in my JANUARY 2015 blog – check it out!

Call it what you want – a brain break, energizer, arts exploration – music and movement are a must for developing healthy brains and bodies! 

              Have you had some music today?

Check out my AUGUST 2015 post for more Back-To-School musical ideas!

Yours for a Back-To-School Song!
"Miss Carole" Stephens

Macaroni Soup!  Active Music for Active Learners!

For information about professional development workshops, concerts and classroom visits contact Carole at 847-384-1404 or carole@macaronisoup.com.

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