September is here and we are off and running in our second week of the Fall Session at Heartsong making music to the tune of Flute Collection. Get ready to Work on The Railroad, sing with the Pretty Little Horses, and do a little Dum Ditty.
One statement I often hear as we enter into a new songbook collection with 25 or so new songs is, “My son/daughter won’t listen to the new CD!” This is usually accompanied by varying levels of worrisome facial expressions. (i.e. “Something’s wrong!) “They just want the old one. The one they know; the one they are comfortable with.” Sounds a little like life.
But just as in life we must learn to adapt to change, so it is with Music Together. And whether you are experiencing your 2nd or 22nd semester in Music Together, the shift will happen. So be encouraged.
As we board the Flute Train remember that it can take the first half or more of the semester for your child to start to show signs of recognition and response to our rituals in class. This is expected. Just keep modeling and the shift will occur. When your child has an experience of the song in class with you and all of her new friends, this will help her to recognize the song when she hears it on the CD. Below are some ideas of how you can creatively introduce the new songs into your daily life:
- Pick one song we did in class and do it the same way (as best you can remember), then incorporate fun, new activities personally tailored to your child. If your child likes to hop and twirl then use that as a way to get familiar with the song.
- Becca Myers, (a/k/a “Miss Becca, teacher at Heartsong), uses this idea with her own children: “Have parents sing songs without the recording. Then in the car do the same thing and encourage [their child] to hear the song on the CD. ‘Hey, it’s the new song from the class, let’s listen!’ In the car we have a lot of fun taking turns picking songs.”
- You can also piggy back on Miss Becca’s suggestion and try doing this right after you come out of class on the way home.
- Remember your songbook, it is an important part of the Music Together experience! It is meant to be colored and bent and read and explored just like the props we use in class. Use the songbook as a storybook at night, as a coloring book as well, point to the pictures, and ask what song you might sing with this picture. Sing the song as you are coloring or tap the beat of the song on the page while you sing along seeing pictures and words and musical notes.
If you’ve been taking Music Together classes for a while you know how we use every opportunity to sing. (Every opportunity!) We sing the instruments away, we sing children from bumbling into each other, we sing them out from under a piano if necessary. It’s pretty magical to watch how the children go from strong disappointment that they have to let go of their favorite prop to looking forward to putting all the instruments in the basket – with enthusiasm. Everyone is pitching in, singing and participating, all within their current stage of development. Some are learning how to put the instruments in gently, some are learning how to wait their turn, some are learning that even though they have to let go, there’s a new song around the corner and a new activity to take its place.
The same goes for acceptance of a whole new song collection. It’s a process. Just remember that your children will adapt and explore at their own pace.
And that’s the way we like it.
Music Together Teacher