Grade: Pre-School
Subject: Music

#2746. Music and Movement

Music, level: Pre-School
Posted Thu Dec 5 07:00:23 PST 2002 by Robert Markowitz (
Robert The Guitar Guy - Music and Movement, South Salem, New York, USA
Materials Required: Parakeet Watch Out! CD by Robert The Guitar Guy or it's possible to use these ideas without the CD
Activity Time: 20 minutes
Concepts Taught: Children's Improvisation; Singing; Rhythmic Movement; Confrontation; Flight; Daily-life Connection

In writing music & movement songs for pre-school

and kindergarten children, I felt drawn to exploring chase

games. Various songs based on this principle began to

emerge. The songs resonated with the children and also

satisfied my own creative impulses.

Here are three examples:


the children (ants) to hide from the spider. As with GO TO

SLEEP, I immediately introduce the resting place to ease a

return to it later. Then, with a rockabilly beat, I play


Once the children have marched from the hiding

place to me, I introduce myself as the spider and sing the

chorus: "I am the spider, empty inside 'er. Now you are

caught in my web! Hide if you can! Hide if you can! But

I'm going to get you instead!"

I modify the mood and intensity with which I

deliver this to match the age and temperament of a given

group of children. I make it clear that we are playing.

Regardless, the peril is palpable enough to engender

delighted screams from the children making their way to the

hiding area. Once they are hiding, the marching music

begins again, and the ants go marching again toward me.



the children are coyotes chanting "Parakeet, watch out!" to

a funk beat as they step closer and closer to me, the

parakeet. Once they are close enough, I ask them questions.

Me: Are you coyotes?
Them: Yes.
Me: Are you hungry?
Them: Yes.
Me: Do you like to eat parakeets like me?
Them: Yes!
I sing: Get back! Get back! Get back! Get back!

Once they are far enough back, the process begins

again with chants of "Parakeet, watch out!" I ask the

children whether they would accept edible substitutes.

Peanut butter and jelly, French fries, etc. The answer is

usually "No!" which engenders "Get back, etc." This game

is slightly more challenging than ANTS AND SPIDER because

the children sing.

ANTS AND SPIDER uses the following elements:

rhythmic movement; confrontation; flight; exaggerated

contrast; trickiness; built-in time-out. PARAKEET WATCH

OUT! adds the element of singing or chanting. I AM A DOG

(PARAKEET WATCH OUT! ALBUM) builds on this by adding the

element of improvisation.

In I AM A DOG, I stand at one end of a room, the

children at the other end. I start playing funk-based

rhythms singing "I am a dog, I wag my tail." I wag my tail

and invite the children to do the same.
They approach me, singing and wagging. When they

reach me, I sing/play, "Let me put a leash on you! Let me

put a leash on you!" The children retreat to their end of

the room, and then sing "No, No, No! No, No, No!

There is rhythm and pitch to their singing part and

the children learn it spontaneously. The improvisation

comes in as I ask the children, "What else do dogs do?"

And so we go on to "scratch my flees, chew my bone, woof-

woof-woof" or anything the children invent.