Happy New Year! I hope everyone had an enjoyable New Year’s celebration!
As a teacher, January never really feels like a new year to me. My brain seems to be stuck on school years instead of calendar years. But since I know most people enjoy the freshness of a new year in January, I want to share some simple music ideas for the new year.
We listen to music a lot at our house. I like to play a variety of music for my children. Since my children are still pretty young, we have a lot of dance parties, where we just listen and move to the music. Listening can be as simple as that!
Last January, I started a monthly listening lessons guide, where I shared musical selections to do with your child. The idea was to make a habit of listening to a variety of musical pieces throughout the year. You can find January’s listening lesson here. I’m also planning to add additional listening logs to go along with the playlists. Listening lessons are great because they allow you to focus on any music elements you’d like while also giving you the opportunity to adapt based on your child’s age or needs.
There are many ways to do listening lessons. Here are a few of my favorites:
- SQUILT (stands for super quiet uninterrupted listening time) or listening logs.
- movement activities-move to the steady beat with different actions, or by adding props
- freeze dance-always a favorite. I’ve used several TpT freeze dances by Lindsay Jervis
I love how stories captivate young learners! When I was in the classroom, if I had a more energetic (rowdy) bunch, reading a story to them was one of the best ways to get their attention. We loved adding music to go along with our stories, which we would call sound stories. It’s a really simple idea, and can be easily adapted to fit any age group.
If you haven’t heard of sound stories, you can start by picking a favorite book. Look for different characters and sounds in the story. Then, choose some instruments (homemade instruments work great or other noise makers like empty coffee cans). Assign each character and sound to an instrument. Then add the sounds to the story as you read it again.
Some of the stories we’ve used are The Napping House, Is Your Mama a Llama?, Bear Snores On, The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear (my 2 year old’s favorite book), and Mortimer.
Nursery rhymes and fingerplays
Children love learning nursery rhymes! There are so many ways you can use them, too. You can say them, or sing them, make crafts to go along with them, and more. You can check out some of these posts for more ideas: