by Pam PIttenger, Turtle Class Teacher
At any moment in the morning in the Turtle class, you may hear music. The music may be classical music, it may be music and movement (“Hurry, Hurry, Drive that Fire Truck”), or even silly (“A Hat on my Head, What Have I Here?”). The music may be from a CD, sung by one or more of the adults, or sung by the whole class. Songs give our children “anchors” throughout the morning as we use transition songs to describe what we are going to do next in our routines. Singing songs also allows us to share new and interesting ideas to think and ask about.
Using repetition, our Turtles learn new words, new ways to move their bodies, or new ways to play with songs. We keep a small variety of instruments – drums and tubes, toy pianos, and the like – and other items to use in movement – scarves, ribbons, etc. – so that we can all participate! Music is not just something being done “for” or “to” our Turtles, but something to which they react and respond.
We sing about the weather. We sing about riding on the seesaw on the playground. We sing about swinging. We sing to allow children to stomp their feet or make loud pounding sounds with their hands. We sing to allow children to move just their fingers or to move their whole bodies.
The children sing, too. They learn the songs we sing over and over and begin to participate. They ask for favorite songs on CD to be played over and over. They find their favorite books to sing (like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See or Wheels On The Bus), bring them to a teacher or to a parent helper and snuggle in for a story and a song.
Children learn many things through music and singing. Most of all, in our Turtle class, they learn that when we sing, we create a space of happiness, joy, and love. We create that space inside of us, and we share that space with others.