Part ONE: Introduction:
These activities were developed for use with kindergartners during the "day care" half of the day, but I have used many of them successfully with first and second graders (just not as extensively!)
We did "Music and Movement" every day and had a WONDERFUL time. For each of these activities, I drew a little picture on a large white cotton sheet. At the beginning of the Music and Movement session, the "special helper" of the day chose one of the activities. Sometimes, we tossed beanbags to select an activity.
We had some great laughs when children chose the same activity over and over again. One day we did the "Martian Hop" so many times that we were all exhausted!!!
My collection of activities has always been based on adapting whatever was available! Since music is such an important part of the activities, I've tried to include sources that are fairly easy to find. I love this kind of activity so well that I've purchased CDs just to obtain a SINGLE musical selection--- but for this listing I will try to recommend CD's that feature many good selections!
"If you could only have ONE CD"
recommendation (plus one original activity)
If you could begin with only ONE CD, I'd recommend Joanie Bartel's "Dancin' Magic." On this CD, you can use:
2. Peppermint twist
3. Hokey Pokey
4. Martian Hop: our all-time favorite. We made up these simple movements, and I've never had a group that didn't love it: To the verses (which begin "We have just discovered an important note from space...") we do a very exaggerated knee-bend and sway, to the right and then to the left. If arms are added, use a reaching motion. Keep the beat to the music. When the refrain (boppa do whop bop.....) comes along, you'll know it. For very young children, just HOP. For first graders or older, hop with right knee up, then left knee up, then right foot forward with heel touching floor, left foot forward with heel touching floor. Arms follow along: up with knees, out to the sides with the heel movement. (This is so much harder to EXPLAIN than to show!)
PART THREE: other CD recommendations:
1. Hap Palmer's music is great for younger children. Most selections offer some activities.
2. The CDs that come with High Scope's movement and music feature folk music with a very definitive beat.
(High Scope Press, 600 North River Street, Ypsilanti, Mi 48198) I recommend the Rhythmically Moving series, but it can be a little expensive. Any good folk dance music can be adapted.
3. Kathy Poelker has some good music and movement materials also.
4. Tom Chapin is another of my very favorites. His selections are NOT specifically designed for music and movement, but most have a good beat and he experiments with many different styles. I recommend "Family Tree" and "Mother Earth."
5. One of the best ways to "collect" selections is to simply go to the Children's section of your local library. Find music that you like and make up movements to go along!
6. Classical is also great!
PART FOUR: ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH MUSIC!!!!!!
1. Slow/Fast selections:
Most musical movement collections will include some kind of fast/slow selection, because it is such a basic and versatile concept. Hap Palmer has a "Slow and Fast" song on his "Homemade Band" tape/CD? "The Bridge of Avignon" can be adapted to slow and fast movements. (this selection is often featured on folk dance tapes). The Rhythmically moving series includes several. On Rhythmically Moving 5, the "slow/fast" song is "Hora Hassidit." It's wonderful. (My kindergartners called it "The Sneaky Song," because the slow opening part has such a lovely "tiptoe beat!")
Make a big circle while holding hands. Move in an exaggerated "sneaky walk," going to the right, to the slow portion of the music. When the music changes, skip quickly in the opposite direction. Be careful to listen for the music change!
With smaller groups, this is fun to do with holding big hoop or a parachute or a fabric ring. Hold the object with your left hand, and when the music changes, shout "SWITCH" and everyone reverses hands and directions. LOTS of fun!
2. Two-part movements:
Most folk pieces will have a distinctive verse and refrain. Make up two different sequences of movements: one for the verse, and one for the refrain. (The movements described above for "Martian Hop" follow this format)
Make streamers from ANY materials: I've used ribbons, yarn, mylar, plastic bags, or crepe paper. Attach to a hoop OR knot together and use the knot as a handle. (I've also seen these fastened to cardboard tube handles) Good "streamer songs" include "Flight of the Bumblebee" (Saint-Saens "Carnival of the Animals" ) and "Mayim" from Rhythmically Moving 5.
MOVEMENTS FOR SPECIFIC SELECTIONS:
4. A nice "cool down" piece is "The Cuckoo." from Saint-Saens "Carnival of the Animals." Give each child a triangle (You can make an imitation triangle by hanging ANY metal object from a string, and striking with a large nail. I've had good luck with old belt buckles!) Listen carefully and only ring the triangle when you hear the "cuckoo." (Yes, four-year-olds CAN "do it" perfectly!)
5. Do the Charleston step to Tom Chapin's "Some One's Gonna Use it After You" (Family Tree)
6. Use the simple sequence step forward, step forward, hop hop hop, step backward, step backward, hop hop hop to "Carnavalito" (High Scope's Rhythmically Moving #5)
Look for Movement and Music TWO later in 1999!
--"LuAnn/2/KS" February 2, l999