A Winter Music Lesson
There's a fresh chill in the air, so it's time to sing, dance and play some musical instruments. Here are 8 activities that parents or teachers can do with their preschoolers to feel warm and toasty and full of the joys of... winter!
I've included links to Apple Music or YouTube, but all the songs I've used in this lesson can be found on this kids' winter playlist. If you have Apple Music, then download the playlist - both you and your kids will enjoy it!
Sing the Rocking the Playroom Welcome Song.
Rhythm: When the ice worm nests again (castanets)
Play Charlie Hope's version of "When the ice worm nests again" and click along to the rhythm with castanets.
Try to get the children to click along to the main beat - 1-2, 1-2, 1-2. Then add a variation like 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2-3.
After clicking through the song, guild the children through a basic music appreciation exercise:
- Was the song fast or slow? Fast - in fact particularly fast - Charlie had to sing very well to fit in all the words!
- Was the song mainly loud or mainly soft? Mainly loud.
- Which instruments could you hear? The children don't need to be able to identify the instruments, but you can point out the guitar, and then the fiddle in the instrumental part. There are also drums (snare, cymbals, claves), bass, and possibly a mandolin. Here's a nice list of country music instruments, with audio examples, if your children are interested.
- How did the song make you feel (give some options - happy, sad, calm, energised, excited, confused)? Let the children give their own ideas here, but try to get them to explain why the song made them feel a certain way.
Movement: Cowboy Boots
We're trying to encourage the children to wear warm shoes and socks, as well as warm clothes, and even hats and scarves during winter. Charlie Hope's "Cowboy Boots" is such a fun song about all the different types of shoes we can wear, and in each pair of shoes, we can dance a different way:
- Cowboy boots - kick foot out to the side, then give a stomp on the return
- Flip flop sandals - kick foot up behind body, try to look back and see your foot
- Running shoes - run on the spot
- Night time slippers - tip toe on the spot
- Rubber rain boots - jump in imaginary puddles
Movement: This is the Way We Sled
Let's dance to Dance 'n Beats This is the Way We Sled. The dance is made up of the Dance 'n Beats movements.
Rhythm: Jingly Jingly Joe
Before we sing Jingle Bells, we'll do a fun rhythm activity called Jingly Jingly Joe with the bells. You can find the words for Jingly Jingly Joe here, together with instructions on how to do the activity.
Singing: Jingle Bells
I know it's June, but this really is the time of year we should be singing Christmas songs like Jingle Bells here in the southern hemisphere! And because I know the kids love this song, we're going to go for a sleigh ride while playing our bells!
Singing: Here we go round the mulberry bush
It's a cold and frosty morning, so we'll go round the mulberry bush and sing the following verses:
- Here we go round the mulberry bush
- This is the way we dress ourselves
- This is the way we brush our hair
- This is the way we wash our face
- This is the way we eat our food
- This is the way we strap in the car
Movement: Free movement with scarves (Little Wing)
As a wind-down activity, play Elizabeth Mitchell's "Little Wing" and give the children a scarf or pashmina each. This is a very chilled, calming song that concludes, "Winter is the best time of them all..." Let the children wave their scarves around gently to the song. Encourage them to match the feeling of the song with soft flowing movements of their scarves.
Music Appreciation: Winter Playlist
If the kids are still keen for more activities, you could do some music appreciation using the Winter playlist I've put together on Apple music. Or, use this playlist as background music for other activities, or in the car.
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