Music is a large part of our day here in the toddler room. The toddlers have a collection of favourite songs they request each day which has resulted in us having dance parties daily before lunch and after nap. This strong interest is shared by every child in the room which is why we decided to explore music and movement for our next project. Through observations and conversations with the toddlers we have begun to document what the children already know on this topic and what we would like to learn. One of the things the toddlers showed an interest in is exploring musical instruments. One morning we brought out all of our instruments and as a large group we went through each one, learned its name, explored what it looks and sounds like and how to play it. We explored drums, shakers, triangles, a xylophone and rain sticks to name just a few. Once we had looked at all the different types of instruments, everyone chose which instrument they would like to play and we made some music together. We also played along to a few songs trying to follow the instructions as the song told us when to play, how to play and when to stop.
The class had loved the addition of instruments to their dancing, and so, a few days later we brought out enough shakers for each child along with some coloured scarves they could hold and move through the air as they danced. The children expressed themselves through their movements while developing their spatial awareness, balance and coordination. Many of the songs we listen to include directions or actions for the children to follow like One Little Finger, Freeze Dance and The Goldfish. We are able to develop our cognition and comprehension skills as we listen and follow each other.
We are also beginning to explore different genres and decades of music, as well as, music from different cultures. Keep an eye out for a survey coming home soon as we would like to learn more about what music all our families enjoy at home. By sharing experiences from home (such as the music the families listen to) with their peers at RisingOaks Early Learning | St. Matthew, the toddlers can continue to develop their self-concept and enhance their sense of belonging in our classroom. Stay tuned as we continue to work through our project and share our discoveries along the way!