Music and Movement in 2015

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

Kidz Newz no. 139 – 11th February 2015

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Music and Movement in 2015

I often think I am a lone voice in the wilderness talking about the importance of music and movement, in early childhood especially. I was heartened to read a post on this topic in one of the LinkedIn groups I am part of, towards the end of 2014. The responses went on for weeks! And everyone was in support! The differences were all about the different research and different methods people employ with different age groups etc. Music to my ears!

It is interesting to note that in an upcoming ECE conference in Australia under the heading ‘Building and Sustaining Excellence’ mention is made in the brief that some of the tried and true methods that have stood the test of time are now obsolete. While this may be true of some areas of teaching and methodology, it certainly does not apply to music and movement.

This area is fundamental to any early childhood program because despite the huge advances in technology, children are still children, so the way they learn and develop does not change. They are not a different species just because we now live in a sophisticated electronic age.

It is relevant to slow down the pace of life. It will quicken up soon enough. Meantime, they need the time to absorb information and discover the world around them in their own time, not in our amped-up time-frames.

I am all for providing stimulating environments. Nowhere is this more important than in music and movement, which should be part of the daily curriculum. Through music and movement, children can be introduced to the topic of the day or week or month in such a fun and creative way. They can also develop their own skills, such as fine and gross-motor, fitness and endurance, social and emotional and so on. Most importantly, by getting them up moving (in a controlled way as you want them learning about self-control) you are stimulating the whole body, most especially their brains. They are co-ordinating right and left sides of the brain so learning becomes easier for them. You are, in effect, ‘switching on’ their brains. It is obvious that you will not only get rid of excess energy but will find them able to learn more easily afterwards and believe it or not, be calmer afterwards (just remember the cool down).

For more information on this topic, please go to the kidzfizbiz archive for some previous articles, especially #47 The Importance of Using Music from Other Cultures, #107 Music Helps Parenting, #113 Background Music in the Classroom, #127 One Small Action, One Big Difference – Bringing Music to Your Ears, #136 Teach Kids to Sing. If you want advice on how to do all this, go to the early newsletters #1-3 – 10 Steps to Successful Music Teaching in the EC Classroom.

If you are not already doing music and movement every day, please start now. It is NOT difficult – really! Please contact me directly on if I can help you in any way.

Quotes of the Week

“If we are to achieve results never before accomplished, we must expect to employ methods never before attempted”
– Francis Bacon

“Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.”
– Angela Monet

“We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams.”
– Source unknown


Some comments from the recent ECCPA Conference 2014

What would you tell others about this presentation?
Well worth attending if the opportunity presents
A great informative session
Some great ideas (a recurring comment)
Age appropriate ideas and suggestions
Great to get ideas for younger children
You need a lot of energy for it – Rhonda Parkinson – Alchester Village Preschool
Well worth experiencing
Do participate as you will gain very good ideas
Very creative
Well worth following up


Thomas Jefferson’s 10 Rules for a Good Life

By Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

Was America’s third president a minimalist? Probably not. We need only look at his 5,000-acre Monticello home, his cannonball-powered clocks, and his powdered wigs to assume that simplicity was not on his mind. But he did have some compelling beliefs that align with our simple-living values. These are Thomas Jefferson’s ten rules for a good life:

  1. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
  2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
  3. Never spend your money before you have it.
  4. Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will never be dear to you.
  5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.
  6. Never repent of having eaten too little.
  7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
  8. Don’t let the evils that have never happened cost you pain.
  9. Always take things by their smooth handle.
  10. When angry, count to 10 before you speak; if very angry, count to 100.

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 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.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9355 4890 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E:

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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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