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Childswork Learning Center

Minstrel News Winter 2017

Dear Families,

Greetings from your neighborhood wandering minstrel! I am loving my time making music in all the classes around school this year and wanted to share some of the things we've been doing.

Each class began the year with songs aimed at easing the transition to school. Name games and songs like "Good Day Everybody" and "I'm Going to School Today" get classes better acquainted and give them opportunities to share things about themselves and things they do at home to get ready for school in the morning.

In addition, I like to start the year off with lots of different vocal exercises, pitch exploration games (especially my slide whistle game), and a run through of some of the essential children's classics: "Twinkle, Twinkle", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", "Where is Thumbkin", "ABCs", "I Had A Little Turtle (Tiny Kim)", "Mary Had A Little Lamb", "5 Little Ducks", "Clap Your Hands", and others.

During the fall, we sang and practiced movements for lots of songs about trees, gardens and harvest time including: "Leaves Are Falling", "Orange Yellow Red", "We're Raking the Leaves", "John the Rabbit", "Lucy Rabbit", "The Green Grass Grew All Around", "One Potato Two Potato", "My Roots Grow Down", and "Acorn Song". "A Sailor Went to Sea" has also been a big hit. Ask your child to sing you some of these songs at home and share the movements they do!

Some classes read and sang the picture book Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins. In addition, SeƱor Don Gato, the Mexican folk song with picture book by John Manders, has also begun making the rounds.

Rhythm sticks and percussion instruments are always a big hit when they come out. Making music in a group teaches important listening and cooperation skills in addition to the practice it provides at playing along with different rhythmic pulses and beats, from natural body rhythms like breathing, heart beats and movements to classical music, chants, jazz, folk, rock, rap and more. Can you and your child find the steady pulse in any song you are listening to? For preschoolers, the most invaluable musical training is simply and informally clapping, tapping, playing and singing along with high quality music in all kinds of genres at home.

This winter (have you noticed it's winter?), we'll be expanding our activities to include scarves, bean bags, many new instruments, and songs, songs, songs! Look out for "Dulce, Dulce", "Baby Shark", "Ten Wild Horses", "Peace Like a River", "Zoom Zoom Zoom", "Scat Like That", my Saxophone, musical art activities and lots more around the corner.

I've posted my full music curriculum plan for the year, with themes, songs and activities, on the music bulletin board between rooms 5 and 6. Have a look and feel free to suggest any of your own personal favorites I might add to the list!

Many thanks for your support and smiling faces in the halls :)

Best wishes, Daniel

Posted on January 24, 2017.
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About Childswork

Childswork Learning Center is a non-profit early childhood education school located in Southeast Portland, Oregon. Since 1984, our school has served a diverse population of children and families, focusing on the development of the whole child with respect and compassion.

Childswork is a safe place for children to explore, take chances, make messes and learn through play. At Childswork we nurture wonder, we embrace joy, and we foster discovery.

Rights of Participation

No person shall be denied the services or facilities of this organization or be excluded from participation or services because of race, age, color, sex, sexual orientation, creed, religion, handicap, or national origin; discrimination of any kind is expressly prohibited.