10 Steps to Successful Music Teaching in the EC Classroom Steps 5-8

The way you can measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 2 – 15 June 2005

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to the new subscribers from the Early Childhood Conference of Performing Arts (ECCPA).  This will be a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children.  Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to.

Feedback is welcome.

2nd Term PD Updates

Saturday 25th June
9.30 – 12.30 Geraldton Grammar School, George Road Geraldton WA. 
Fee is $55.00 including morning tea. Contact Marlene on (08) 9325 1204.

Inspirational Message of the Week

“The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow. 
The rainbow won’t wait for you to finish the work.” Anon.

Ten Steps to Successful Music Teaching in The Early Childhood Classroom 
( Steps 5 through 8 )

Young children learn by doing, by being actively involved in their learning through exploring and experimenting, through copying and acting out. And so it is with learning music, the foundations for which are best learnt while developing primary language.  As such, a successful early childhood music program must incorporate movement and should quite naturally involve learning across the curriculum.  The music program, therefore, can form the basis for the whole curriculum.

Here are the next few tips to expand your skills and enjoyment of teaching music.

  1. Relate activities to their level of understanding.  Engage their imaginations.  They    live in a fantasy world ‘ take advantage of it.  You personally may not feel inclined towards fantasy.  It doesn’t matter.  Whatever engages them is what matters.  Whatever you are wanting them to learn can be done best by engaging their imaginations, and fantasy is the easiest.  Use drama in any way to engage their imaginations.
  2. Praise them constantly.  They respond best to positive reinforcement.  A baby is born fearless.  No matter how many times the baby falls over when attempting to walk, and despite injuries along the way, he or she will get up and try again, over and over until that skill is finally mastered.  It never occurs to the child, or anyone else, that you have to get it perfect the first time. Everyone encourages them which is an added bonus. Somehow along the way though, by the time many children are in mid primary school, they have already been given so many negatives which erode their self-esteem that they give up trying new things.
  3. Remember the K.I.S.S. principle and keep it simple.  Only do a few activities or songs at a time in your music lesson.  Repeat them often and only when mastered do you add modifications or a new activity.   Keep the whole lesson simple but fun.  Simple means uncomplicated, not complex.  Do not confuse simple with easy.  Easy means not difficult. While you don’t want to make it too difficult either, you want them to be challenged.  If the class structure is simple, you can easily add in a more challenging activity.
  4. If the children are unused to music and movement sessions, do not try to be too ambitious.  Five minutes a day may be enough for the first few weeks, depending on the children.  Repeat the lesson (maybe up to three or four times) until confidence and competence improve.  They need the repetition.  You can add modifications for greater complexity and variation or change one or two activities before moving onto a new lesson.  Set them up to succeed.


This is from Wayne Mansfield’s newsletter The Maverick Spirit 10 November 2004.

The Definitive Guide to Being an Aussie
– source unknown.

Whether it’s the opening of Parliament, or the launch of a new art gallery, there is no Australian event that cannot be improved by a sausage sizzle.

There is no food that cannot be improved by the application of tomato sauce.

Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the plastic milk crate.

The alpha male in any group is he who takes the barbeque tongs from the hands of the host and blithely begins turning the snags.

The shorter the nickname, the more they like you.

If the guy next to you is swearing like a wharfie he’s probably a media billionaire.  Or on the other hand, he may be a wharfie.

On the beach, all Australians hide their keys and wallets by placing them inside their sandshoes.  No thief has ever worked this out.



“Fantastic.  I have a lot of ideas to use with my 3-5 year-olds.  Would recommend this to anyone working with young children.”

Roz Brabazon – Collie, W.A.

Wonderful music resource – so many activities with scarves.

Maija Upenieks ECCPA (Early Childhood Conference of Performing Arts) 

A great presentation, most useful – a wealth of ideas & all able to be extended.

Bev Ross ECCPA

Loved Happy Sticks & scarves and classical music activities.

Kathryn Jordan ECCPA

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she has taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

57 Henry Lawson Walk, East Perth WA 6004
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: 0410 64 2781 E: info@kidzfizbiz.com

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