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Music, Tips and a Snooze

Lots of you out there popping onto our Instagram posts have queried the focus for each of the days that we post. In the madness that is social media, numbers of likes, friends and appropriateness of each post, who they are for, why, and what we are doing them for. Here goes! 

Monday Music

What is Monday Music? What does it look like? What do we have to do to ensure our children kick off the week with music in mind? 

After a chilled, frantic, or even aimless weekend (we all have these from time to time don't we?) Monday is the start of a new adventure, new awakenings, ideas, topics and activities that prepare us all slowly for the week ahead. 

Early Years music teacher

Whether a music or early years teacher, nanny, childminder or parent, Monday Music offers suggestions on how to discover music that emerges from your child.

How to discover and recognise musical moments and build on what you see. 

How to engage spontaneously and to bounce merry musical ideas off each other.

How to shift a mood, enhance emotion and encourage accountability. 

How to move, prepare, respond and harness through musical moments. 

Monday Music is the realisation that music does not necessarily start in structured music lessons, or about benchmarking your child against the miniature prodigies popping up on a reel. Nor is this about enforcing music making from the moment everyone wakes up! 

Where does it take place? With our Monday snippets you will be encouraged to think musically, and to see how music can emerge in the most unexpected places - supermarkets being one of them; walking down the street another, eating fruit, driving to a friend's house... 

Look at this little clip. What Daddy is doing is intrinsically musical. His sound-play is going up and down. Baby is watching intently. The interaction is spontaneous. Even mama and her friend are transfixed. What I see is inter-relationships occurring. They retain close eye contact. Baby recognises daddy's voice; there is curiosity and reflection going on - all at the same time! His little body is relaxed and secure. I explained that this little activity was musical and could be extended into other areas and moments throughout the day. In other words, musical moments is part of real life. And good for adult as well as baby. Click onto Mondays and hopefully you will get ideas of what you might be looking for - from 4 year olds, babies and older children too! 

Thursday Tips 

What happens when we meet Thursday Tips

Early Years Music Teacher

In musical play, reading, eating, getting ready for the next thing, or engaging in structured, curriculum based lessons (yes, in the UK that is what we do from 2 1/2 years!) there is always a musical moment to be had, shared and enjoyed.

No, this does not need to include instruments, singing or listening to an amazing musician - although they all have their unique place in our children's early life experiences and learning. The intention behind Thursday Tips is to lighten the load in an often pressured environment, provide a bridge between one thing to the next, and give scope for key adults to understand what music is, and means in early childhood. 

This is a delightful rendition of a much loved story being told by B to her brother. Notice her natural use of heightened melody to depict repeated sentences. In musical terms she is syncopating the words too! Everything is working together, body, visuals, sound and voice-play. 

Imagine if you had feedback on a simple story (lots more to enjoy on our podcast Once Upon a Song) and was able to embellish this still further. This is what I would call providing accessible skills - you already have them, but thinking musically unlocks new areas time, and time again. 

Saturday Snooze

As one of our newer posts there is MUCH more to discover, not least on musical ideas pre-bedtime, sleep and bath-time. Usually weekends are more relaxed with unstructured routines flying about by loved adults.

How to get things done together? How to get babies in bed? How to calm that 6pm moment (or later, later, later for that matter). How to encourage interaction between siblings? On many occasions I have noted structure persisting despite the need for adults and children to shake it all out, and just be. Some adults are worried that non-structure sets a negative precedence. With Saturday Snooze we cannot pretend to have the answers to children's responses, however immersing musical moments into the evening (Sundays too) we are encouraging playfulness that in turn can develop still further between siblings, alone, and of course, with yourselves. 

I love this clip. It shows a child sitting thoughtfully under a small ladder which (with the help of an adult) she has dressed as a tree. She uttered building words with the melody going up: "Up the tree grows so high! Building up, up up up up!" 

I have been guilty of putting random ideas onto each of these three days! Now, I hope, with your suggestions, questions and tips - collaboration is the greatest learning tool one can encourage - we can pursue more structured pathways to support music in your children. 

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