Repetition is good....Repetition is good....Repetition is good.....
By Gillian Lee on 4 February 2017
Some helpful suggestions to familiarise your family with the songs from this term's collection
Being introduced to so many new songs in different styles, tonalities and metres can be a bit overwhelning both for children and grownups (teachers included)
Finding ways to familiarise your family with the songs at home, can be really enrich your family's experience in class.
Here are some useful ideas:
1. Play the CD as often as you can both as background music and as an accompaniment to daily life and for special family 'boogie' and jam sessions. Children both crave and learn from repetition in order to process the music and become familiar enough with it to feel confident singing/playing along and eventually improvising and creating their own music.
2. Make the songs from this term's collection your own. Make up your own words, stories and actions. Use it to accompany routines, as a motivator for children or diffuse a tense moment by breaking into a song.
3. Use the collection in your daily rituals - e.g.singing a lullaby before bedtime, tidying up, a jam session , a family 'boogie'
4. Use the ideas for parents in the songbook. Regualarly 'read' and sing the songbook together paying attention to the beautiful illustrations and try some of the suggestions for musical activities at home. It can be fun following and 'reading' the musical notes as you sing or as you listen to the CD. If you play an instrument you can also learn to play the songs to share them with your children.
5. Download the 'Hello Everyody" APP for your phone or iPad -It already comes with 8 pre loaded songs but if you type in the code from the inside of your CD cover it will program the current term's collection music. Play karaoke with your family and record your own music videos to share. The on-screen lyrics make it easy to sing and play along.
6. Access the Music Together® Family Music Zone which has interesting activities and videos to accompany each terms's collection. You can also download the songs from the collection (including a bonus track) to use on your devices and access free printables. Again the access code can be found in the inside cover of your CD.
When your children are young, it’s a great time to think about creating an identity as a family.
Over the last few weeks in class we have been discussing ‘what makes a musical family’ and how we can identify as this, even if (and I would say especially if) we aren’t ‘TheJacksons’ or Melbournes’s ‘PerchCreekFamilyJug Band’ and are not able to play a variety of instruments competently and sing perfectly in harmony with one another.
So here’s what we have come up with:
What You Can Do to Create a Musical Family
1. Sing Together
Throughout time, in different cultures around the world, singing has been a significant feature in the lives of families. This has declined in the past few decades with the introduction of recorded music.
Let’s keep singing alive!!
Find opportunities to sing together; in the car, walking to the park, getting dressed, having a bath. Whether it be songs from your childhood (or indeed adulthood), songs from music class or songs you’ve made up on the spot using familiar tunes (think Skip to my Lou, Here we go round the Mulberry Bush or even Waltzing Matilda!), make singing part of your everyday life.
Whether it be spontaneously dancing around the kitchen together to tunes on the radio, establishing a nightly routine of having a boogie after dinner, or even a weekly ‘family disco’ with a play list built up of everyone’s favourites make dance a part of your lives. Dancing (like singing and making music), builds up the body’s natural endorphins (which are the feel good hormones).
3. Share a LullabyTime
There is nothing better for a baby/child than hearing the soft, soothing tone of a loved one singing to him before bedtime. Establish this as part of your bedtime routine. Build up a repertoire of favourite lullabies or take any song, slow it right down, sing it softly and hey presto it becomes a lullaby.
Build up that family music basket with a mix of home made and shop bought instruments e.g. drums, shakers, rhythm sticks, kazoos. You might also like to bring out a collection of ‘kitchen instruments’ to clang, tap, shake and scrape from the kitchen. Play along to your favourite backing track or sing as you play.
Have you heard the phrase, if you want a child to be a reader then read yourself? The same can be said about music. You don’t have to be the greatest musician in the world, simply by having a go you will stimulate your child’s interest. If you’ve never played an instrument, it’s never too late to learn. There are plenty of simple tutorials online these days. Alternatively grab a couple of spoons from the kitchen drawer and see what cool sounds you can create.
6. Buildup your RecordCollection
If you are passionate about music, your children are more likely to be too. Expose them to music you enjoyed as you grew up and music that you’ve collected along the way. Seek out new and interesting music as well as old classics. Expose children to a variety of genres e.g. Folk, world, jazz, classical, pop, country, rock, blues, swing…… but most importantly the music you love as they will sense that passion.
From this you can gradually build up your own family play lists for listening to, dancing to, jamming to etc
Making music together at home and dancing and jamming along to recorded music can unquestionably set off a lifelong love of music. Seeing music live can enhance this enormously. Look out for family friendly gigs and festivals.
E.g. All Day Fritz play the last Sunday of every month at Open Studio, High St, Northcote.http://www.alldayfritz.comThe Mudcakes often do local shows and kazoo workshops.http://www.themudcakes.com/shows.html
8. LetMusicbePartof YourEveryDayLives
As easy as children learn to walk and talk with their families, they can also learn to sing and make music with them too. By making it something you do naturally every day, you are establishing your identity as a ‘musical family’ and giving your children the best start to their life with music.