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“Steady Beat” - a drum song!

Jul 03, 2020
 

Today’s video gives you a peek into our July course. This simple tune gives your child the perfect opportunity to practice keeping a steady beat, and reinforcing musical concepts.

We’re also including written notes from the course that we provide to parents:

How to prepare: 

  • Grab a drum (anything that you are comfortable having your kiddo strike with a mallet or bang on with their hands! Plastic bins or pots and pans are good substitutes if you don’t have an actual drum)

How to extend/adapt: 

  • Explore different ways to play a steady beat with your child. On the drum or away from the drum.
  • Explore quarter notes, eighth notes, and half notes with different types of movements. Quarter notes could feel like marching, eighth notes like running, and half notes like a slow walk.

What your child is learning: 

  • Rhythmic values, steady beat and sense of rhythm, various musical concepts, gross motor skills.

If you enjoy watching this video with your child,...

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Introducing: "Peter and the Wolf"

Jun 26, 2020
 

Who here loves Peter and the Wolf?! 

It’s one of the most famous pieces of classical music written for children, and we here at Clap for Classics! just adore it. This is why we’re SO excited to announce that our July and August online music courses are based around this great “symphonic fairy tale.”

Our course subscribers had a ton of fun the past 3 months learning about Carnival of the Animals. They enjoyed movement, listening, singing, instrument playing, and even did some musical yoga! Now we’re ready to dive into Peter and the Wolf!

In this piece of music, each character in the story is represented by an instrument. The bird is represented by the flute, the cat by the clarinet, Peter by the strings, etc. This is a fun and helpful way for kids to get familiar with instruments in the orchestra, by creating associations with beloved characters. One of the bonus features of our course is that we include videos of professional musicians playing and...

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Legato the Swan

Jun 19, 2020
 

Today’s Musical Moment teaches about the musical concept of legato through 3 fun songs and activities.

First up -- one of our classic activities -- sing a familiar song smoothly (legato), and then sing it in a silly, bouncy style (staccato). We used London Bridge this time, but this works great with any song your child knows well.

Next -- a Clap for Classics! original, straight from our subscription course. We sing “Legato the Swan” with a scarf in hand, to help us feel and visualize that legato concept -- until the cute surprise ending.

Finally, we get out our ribbon wand (another favorite prop to use when teaching legato), and sing a delightful song about all the bodies of water we enjoy during summertime! (To the tune of “I Love the Mountains”, which you may already be familiar with)

Happy Music-Making!

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Ella Jenkins

Jun 11, 2020
 

Today, we are excited to spotlight a phenomenal children’s artist, Ella Jenkins. She has been making music for children and with children for more than 50 years, and has even been dubbed the “The First Lady of Children's Folk Song”.  

Ella Jenkins has a massive library of children’s music including rhythm songs, instrument songs, call and response, music from around the world and more! I love listening to her because the music is simple, interactive, and thoughtful, and I can just feel an incredible warmth, love, and joy through her music. Her recordings often feature her teaching a song to a group of children, with them responding and singing along. (Here is a great one on YouTube)

We’ve curated a Spotify playlist of some of our favorites from Ms. Jenkins. Be sure to check her out with your kids, we think you’ll love her music as much as we do.

Read more about her here: Ella Jenkins: Artist Spotlight by Smithsonian Folkways

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Rhythm Stick Song and Activity

May 29, 2020
 

Get ready for an adorable “Musical Moment” today. In a special sneak peek into our June course for subscribers, we’ve turned our hard wood rhythm sticks into silly personalities “Zip and Zap”, who help your child learn spatial awareness, direction-related vocabulary, pitch, and steady beat. It’s a Clap for Classics! original, so we’re sure you haven’t heard it before! But we hope it may become a favorite at your house! It can easily be chanted or sung.

If you want to have some more fun with rhythm sticks, check out our other videos and blog posts here:

Have you checked out our Monthly Music Course Subscription yet? We are so excited about it, and know that you and your child(ren) will love having access to our carefully curated, creative, engaging music activities. We want you to experience how easy and enriching it is, so...

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"Tick Tock Tick Tock I'm a Little Cuckoo Clock"

May 21, 2020
 

This week we have a “musical moment” for you, rather than a “mini class”. It’ll be easy to squeeze this video  into your day, and easy to remember the song, so you can keep singing it once the video is over. “Tick Tock Tick Tock, I’m a Little Cuckoo Clock” is catchy, quick to learn, and perfectly adaptable for various age groups. It also teaches counting and steady beat skills. 

Elizabeth and Charlotte demonstrate not one, not two, but four ways to sing this song! Same song, different actions each time. Pick what works for you and your kiddo -- The first two are geared toward toddlers and preschoolers, the second two are great for babies. Can you come up with another way to sing this song? How about a helpful way to incorporate it into your daily schedule?

Lyrics:

Tick, tock, tick, tock, 

I'm a little cuckoo clock.

Tick, tock, tick, tock,

Now it's striking one o'clock,

Cuckoo! 

Tick, tock, tick, tock,

I'm a little...

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Familiar Favorites With A Twist

May 14, 2020
 

Do you find yourself singing the same familiar tunes with your kids, over and over? 

Do you get bored of doing the same old thing, and wish you had some new material? 

We are here to help!

    • First of all, be reassured: It is great to sing the same song again and again! Kids love repetition and continue to learn as they hear songs repeatedly. 
    • Next, we’re guessing you actually know more songs than you realize. We’re sharing a list below, of songs that we and many of our Clap for Classics! followers sing regularly, that you may know too.

 

  • This is the main point of this blog post: Today we have a few ideas for how you can spice up these old favorites in a new way. Watch Elizabeth’s video, and/or keep reading below for some simple ideas that will bring new life to your at-home music making!

 

  • And finally, we’ve gotta mention-- here at Clap for Classics! we have a huge repertoire of great quality children’s songs at our...
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Treble and Bass Mini Music Class

May 07, 2020
 

Today’s mini class introduces the treble clef and the bass clef to young music-makers. These are some of the most recognizable musical symbols, seen ubiquitously in logos and tattoos and, of course, music notation!! For our young audience, we teach the treble and bass clef in a very simple presentation: the treble clef representing high pitched sounds, and the bass clef representing low pitched sounds.

Enjoy as Elizabeth gets kids engaged with their voices and their bodies (Stand up for treble, sit down for bass), introduces some instruments that play high (flute, violin) and low (cello, bass), tells a musical story with “High-Low”  the Kangaroo and a piece of classical music (Carnival of the Animals), and categorizes some more animal friends into treble and bass sounding voices. The class ends with one of our favorite classic children’s songs “Little Bird”.

Here is a treble and bass clef printable for you, if you want to make your own...

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Instrument Highlight: Scarves (what?)

Apr 30, 2020
 

Ok ok, a scarf is not an instrument! But, it is something that we use all the time in our early childhood music classes, so we thought it would be nice to include alongside our other Instrument Highlights.

What is it about these lightweight, colorful scarves that go so well with music and small children? Here are some of the things we like about them:

  • They are usually brightly colored, which offers opportunities to sing and learn about colors.
  • Perfect for playing peekaboo with babies
  • They are easy to manipulate, but feel very playful as well as they float and land, offering a sensory experience, and a chance to develop spatial awareness for little ones.
  • Holding a scarf while moving your body to music offers an additional visual element to tie in multiple senses to your listening experience.
  • The scarf can help children to visualize and feel musical concepts
    • Pitch: Hold your scarf high in the air for high sounds, and bring it low to the ground for low sounds.
    • Tempo: Shake it fast,...
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Making Music with Pots and Pans!

Apr 23, 2020
 

Deep questions for your consideration:

  • Is banging on a pot considered music-making? 
  • Should I be happy about the ruckus that my child is making with those pans and utensils? 
  • Where do you draw the line between “noise” and “music”? 

As with most deep questions, there is no clear answer, but we are happy to share a fun “pots and pans” mini music class with you today that may lead you toward your own conclusions! Grab a variety of pots, pans, and utensils, and get ready to make some music...er...noise?! (You decide!)

Exploring sounds with pots, pans, and utensils is great for building listening skills and creativity. It’s fun to let your child lead the way here, but if you feel they need some guidance, try some of these prompts:

  • How do sounds change when you strike different parts of the pan (inside, outside, handle, etc)? 
  • How do sounds change when you play the same pan with 2 different types of utensils (one wooden...
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