Posts Tagged 'holiday songs'

Holiday Music on Repeat

holiday musicAll of a sudden it’s here again; the holidays! Regardless of which holidays you celebrate, or what your family beliefs and traditions are, there is a common association with this time of year-and I don’t mean frantic shopping benders, I mean music. Holiday music starts pumping through the air waves before we’ve even finished our Thanksgiving dishes.

Most of us are so familiar with holiday tunes that we often sing or hum along without even thinking about it. (I catch my husband whistling “Silver Bells”, completely unaware that he’s doing it!) We’ve had decades of Decembers to hear and learn these songs. We may not know the words to all 5 verses, but we know the chorus, and we can belt the melody with the best of ‘em! I had a moment in class last week, that really stood out to me, and made me think about these carols from a different perspective…

Looking around our community circle, the parents were singing and smiling as we exuberantly sang “Jingle Bells” together. The children, I noticed, for the most part were looking around the circle without smiles. Their expressions were more of wonder, curiosity, and even a bit of confusion, as if thinking: “What the heck is this song that all the grownups are having so much fun singing?” Only in that moment did it fully occur to me that most of them are too young to have clear memories of it from the year before. For some, it may well have been the first time they’d heard it! Imagine, not knowing “Jingle Bells!”

Music Together knowingly emphasises repetition in its curriculum. We’ve just been singing the same set of songs for 12 weeks! Though many children are able to enjoy the songs from the first week of a session, it isn’t usually until after the recording has been played dozens (maybe hundreds) of times in the car, and they’ve attended class several weeks (even about 6) that they really dive in and get the most out of the music.

In the past, I remember including “Jingle Bells” in my lesson plan two weeks in a row, and then again at a holiday sing-a-long after the session ended. When a 3-year-old requested it for his January birthday party, I thought this was the best thing ever! He was not done with the repetition yet! He needed more!

So my challenge to you is this: give your children as much repetition with holiday music as we do our song collections each session. Don’t settle for it being only in the background, bring it to the foreground, and give your kiddo the wonderful opportunity to experience the holiday spirit through music. Choose a couple of your favorite songs or an album that you love dearly, and focus there for your own family’s holiday music session. Sing with the recordings, but also sing without them. Make a point to get out instruments, get up and dance, and have holiday music making time, but also sing them casually while you’re cooking, cleaning, shopping, playing, and while you’re snuggling up for bed. Doing this will spread the holiday cheer, share (and create new) family traditions, and give your little one a deep, memorable musical experience. And just maybe, the gift will keep giving next year and in a lifetime to come.

Vanessa Heilman
Music Together Teacher, Certification Level I

 

Advertisements

Holidays are a-Comin’ (Oh yeah!)

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of the holidays!

Now that Halloween is over, it is officially the holiday season (according to greeting card companies). Just take a trip to any store and you’ll know what I am talking about. Move over, pumpkins and spooky ghosts! Time for menorahs, Christmas trees, and presents. Snowy winter scenes will surely adorn every shelf and endcap.

Yes, the holiday season is already upon us. Even though it is a magical time of year, it can also be incredibly stressful. All of the shopping, wrapping, shipping, and decorating can be enough to wear most of us down! However, when I think back on my fondest holiday memories as a child, one thing sticks with me (and it’s not the presents or food). It’s the music.

There is a whole industry built around holiday music. Everyone from N*Sync, to Mariah Carey, to Alvin and the Chipmunks have released holiday albums. While some of these albums tend to be a bit too poppy for my taste, there are many classic holiday albums that are musically rich.

These artists deliver exciting classical holiday music:

  • Mannheim Steamroller
  • Tran-Siberian Orchestra
  • The Sal-Soul Orchestra

These artists provide classic holiday vocals:

  • Harry Connick, Jr.
  • Frank Sinatra
  • BIllie Holiday
  • Josh Groban
  • The Jackson 5

Check of some of these artist’s songs this holiday season and enjoy dancing to them at home or singing along with them when you are driving in the car.  You are sure to make memories with your children that will last for a lifetime!

Meg Roy
Music Together Teacher


The Joy of Family Music

Heartsong Music teaches Music Together®, the internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program for children from birth through grade two and the adults who love them.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,138 other followers

Advertisements