The year is off to a quick start. I haven't been back to school yet as I'm waiting for my foot to heal. But Tuesday I shall foray back into the music classroom and see my dear students. One thing I notice is how few nursery rhymes and children's songs kids know these days. It used to be (back in the olden days when I was a child) that parents sang songs and chanted nursery rhymes to their children at home so kids had these structures in the brain before attending school. Things have greatly changed. Often both parents have to work outside the home and families have less time to spend together. Nursery rhymes are important not only for musical development but also language and math skills. Here are a few things you can do with nursery rhymes:
1. Chant the nursery rhyme in a high, middle or low pitch voice.
2. Sing the rhyme using so-la-mi or other pitches.
3. Keep the beat with body percussion: micro and macro
4. Create a finger plays or motions to accompany the words.
5. Clap or play the rhythm of the words on small percussion instruments.
6. Make up repeated rhythmic patterns using words from the rhyme
7. Play a steady beat (tonic or bordun) on a barred instrument while singing
8. Use the form of the rhyme to write new ones.
10. Perform the rhyme in 2/4 or 6/8 time.
11. Play a small percussion instrument on a specific word.