The second day in Dr. Strong’s First Steps in Music by Dr. Feierabend course was better than the first. It moved further into the research as well as emerging us into the approach for infants and toddlers (birth to 36 months). The best way to experience this approach is to take the course; however, here are some highlights from Day 2.
For the past three years, I have been holding a free Mommy/Caregiver and Me Music Class for the families in our community as a way to give back to the community. The class started as a class for the younger siblings to the students that attend Far Hills. However, the class has grown immensely and I love the progress it has made! We now have a Waddlers class for 6 months to 18 months and a Toddlers class for 18 months to 3 years, once a month at the school.
I have struggled with how to sing the songs repeatedly during the class. The sequence is a song is sung 4 times during a class. The same song is also sung 4 times during the semester, with a semester being 12 weeks. With that math in mind, the song should be sung 16 times throughout the semester.
Infant/Toddler Musical Workout
Watching Connie Greenwood in action teaching her baby music class made it so clear for me. She went through songs, chants, and rhymes four times beautifully throughout her 40-minute class. When it came to singing a song four times, she would change the tempo, or add a little more movements, change the position of the bounce, change the level of the movement (baby on the legs then baby on the knees), to name a few ways to differentiate the activity.
In a workout which consists of bouncing, wiggling, tickling, tapping, clapping, simple songs, simple circle songs, and lullabies, listening to Dr. Strong explain it, experiencing the research behind it, and then seeing Connie put it into action, it all made sense. As stated in my last blog post, the holes I was expereincing in some of my teaching, were now filling in.
Day 3 begins where we left off in Arioso Land from the PreK-Grade 1 First Steps Program. I am anxious to learn more about the 8-step musical workout for PreK-Grade 1 and how I can begin implementing it more this year than I have in the past. I have already begun creating a free Arioso Land tech file that is filled with backgrounds that can be used in Google Slides, PowerPoint, Keynote, and Notebook that will be available on my Teachers Pay Teachers Page. This will be useful for the teacher who teaches in various rooms.
Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com