Hello Song The Hello Song, in addition to providing a definite beginning to class, also provides continuity. Each child knows that the song will be sung at the beginning of each class and that he/she will be sung to individually. Eye contact is always attempted and often made. Each child is encouraged to feel a part of the group. Further,because it is sung at every meeting, the children learn all of the words, and most are able to sing along.
Gathering Song This song is important to gain the class's focus. As a familiar “sit and sing” song to gather the families, it is usually one with hand motions. A sense of community is fostered and the energy level is set. Examples: Taxi, Head to Toe, I’m a Thumb, What’s in the Bag?
New Song Depending on the timing during the session, this song will introduce something new (or somewhat unfamiliar,) or reinforce a new-ish song to the group. This song may be a chant (see below), an “Old Faithful,” or a song that was previously sung in the rhythm section (see below.)
Large Movement Song This segment of the lesson plan is selected to “get their wiggles out” and have some fun. We dance/march/slide/walk around the room in time with the music, sometimes using a prop such as a scarf. There may be some simple choreography. We wave our arms over our heads, we jump up, we crouch down, we generally act silly – in a “big” way. Examples: Runaround Kid, Ready to Go, Move Your Feet, Big Boom Whacker
Shaker Song Shaker songs provide the children their first opportunity to play a rhythm instrument and to keep a beat. We have many different types of shakers, some are loud and others are soft. The tempo and beat of the song, together with its message, determine the type of shaker used. Examples: Bagel, Miami Grammy, Caboose, Bellybutton Song
Theme Songs In the beginning of the session, these are songs from the current session’s CD. There are usually two or three of these. Later in the session, these songs could be similar to the gathering song, as noted above. Examples: Splashin’ in the Tub, Brush Teeth, Take Me to the Park, I Love You, I’m a Thumb
Rhythm Song This is usually a stick song. On some CDs, these are floor-slapping songs. Or, we may also use the jingle bells or the egghead shakers during this segment. Examples: Jackhammer Joe, Been There/Done That, Spaceman, I Crack Me Up
Chant/Fingerplay A chant is not done every class, but often. A chant teaches that the voice is the most varied instrument of all. With it we can be melodic, or rhythmic, or both. Chants teach meter and rhyme, and they usually have a hand movement for small motor development. They enhance the memory, because they are short, clever rhymes that are repeated over and over. Mostly they are silly and bring a smile to most faces. Examples: I’m a Snake, My Cat, Tough Day, Pancake, Funny Hair
Dance The dance number is a second large movement segment. The goal here is to interact with each child individually at first, and then “get out of the way” and let the adults interact with their children while enjoying the music. This song is usually one that the adults enjoy as well, so the energy in the room is often upbeat and joyful. Classic tunes work best, but occasionally an unfamiliar tune will be used. This song is the chance for the families to “make the class their own” by bringing in their favorites. There are often surprises here! Three minutes works best.
Jam Session A myriad of concepts are at work during the jam session -- some interpersonal and/or group dynamic, some musical. Taking turns, trying something new, “you can’t always get what you want,” putting things away, etc. are group dynamic concepts that are often reinforced during this segment. Musically, this song has a good, strong beat, is usually a favorite of the adults, and generally spreads smiles throughout the room. At three to four minutes, the longest of the entire class, this song gives ample opportunity to interact with children and adults alike.
Lullaby After the jam session, it is often necessary to calm everyone down. This song provides a soothing, calming closure to the class. We turn off the lights. The children come to depend on this song as a winding down period. It is a signal that we are about to leave.
Goodbye Song The Goodbye Song is sung every class, just as the Hello Song. It provides the same continuity and dependability, and it is a signal to the children that music time is almost over. Each child is sung to individually, again making eye contact. It promises that “we’ll see you soon” so that they know they will come again next week. The goal is that each class it is a fond farewell, hasta manana.