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3 Valentine's Songs and some Romantic Classical Music

Feb 13, 2020
 

We’ve got a few fun Valentine-themed songs to share with you today!

Skidamarink

Classic children’s song, with great actions. In addition to being a sweet song that says “I love you”, you can teach your child about the placement of the sun in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

The More We Get Together

A celebration of friendship, this simple song is easy for little ones to sing. We’ve added some instruments, and some variations that use your kids’ creativity.

If You Love Me and You Know It

A cute spin-off on “If you’re happy and you know it”, this song encourages some affectionate moments between you and your sweet little one!

Watch the video to see Elizabeth and Charlotte demonstrating all of these songs.

Valentine’s Waltz

We love dancing to all kinds of music, in all kinds of ways. But today we’re going to talk about a romantic favorite: the waltz. 

You can waltz to any music that has moderately fast 3-beat...

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Birds!

Feb 06, 2020
 

We want to share a couple of bird-themed songs/activities with you this week, to supplement our brand new "Flight" themed at-home mini music course. This song and classical listening activity will make a great at-home music morning for you and your little one.


First, Three Little Birds - by Bob Marley. This song might not be our typical jam, but we love it! It’s a fun, upbeat song to enjoy singing together. Isn't it great when you find a song that you love listening to, or singing, as much as your little one.  I also love the versatility of this song.  It can be sung as an upbeat tune, or slowly and softly for a sweet lullaby.  This one has a great message for all of us.  A friend of mine recently mentioned that she has been searching for ways to help her toddler with some anxiety.  Three Little Birds is a great one to introduce to help your child relax and let go of some worries.  (And don't we all need that from time to...

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2 Little Blackbirds Fingerplay

Feb 01, 2020
 

I can remember both my babies just being entranced as my fingers climbed up the imaginary waterspout, and then rained down again, to “wash the spider out”.  How fun it was to see their progress from watching me to trying the actions themselves and ultimately singing along with the “Itsy bitsy spider”! What is it about a fingerplay that engages kids so beautifully, from young babies through preschool age (and beyond!)? 

Parents have been entertaining their young children with fingerplays for centuries, and for good reason. When kids do a fingerplay, they are engaging multiple senses to learn -- auditory, visual, and tactile. They also end up using their imagination, developing vocabulary and language skills and improving their fine motor skills. Not to mention, it’s just fun! I could go on…

There are so many fingerplays that are beloved by parents and early childhood educators. Many of them are spoken rather than sung. Today we’d...

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Vivaldi "Winter" Part 3

Jan 28, 2020

This looks like a picture of Charlotte and I reading a book.

What you don't see is the music we're listening to while we read. We listened to the 3rd movement of Vivaldi's "Winter" while reading "The Guest" from Arnold Lobel's "Owl at Home." (Does anyone else love these books from your childhood?)

This is a fun way to sneak in some classical music into your day.

Click here to get access to our "Winter" Spotify playlist.

Grab a bunch of wintry books, snuggle up, put on the playlist and enjoy! I'd love to hear if you tried this activity and which books were a hit!

 

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I want to do music at home, but...

Jan 24, 2020

My child does not sit down - ever!

My child can’t do an activity for longer than 45 seconds!

My child destroys everything in her path!

Who has an especially “energetic” toddler? Does the idea of sitting down for structured “music time” at home seem impossible to you? Maybe you’ve taken her to a music class before and she just ran around the room, seeming to ignore the teacher?

Here are some tips to make at-home-music work for you!

  • Make sure your child is well fed and well rested when you attempt to do musical activities together (especially when introducing something new). We all know a hungry, tired toddler is a force to be reckoned with!
  • Try it at different times throughout the day. Unlike a music class you go to with your child, you don’t have to have a 45-minute block of time set aside for music. You can do a song here, an activity there. Incorporate them into your daily routines, and you may eventually find that certain times of day...
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"I Made a Little Snowman"

Jan 16, 2020
 

Song and Flannel Board Activity

Last year as we were putting together our winter music class curriculum, we realized we needed a snowman song. After searching around a while, and not finding anything that we loved, we decided to come up with our own. It’s been a big hit in our classes and homes, and we’re excited to share it with you today!

Using the tune of an old (rather obscure) nursery rhyme “The Little Nut Tree”, and an original chorus, we made up a darling song about building a snowman.  To bring it to life, we use a flannel board and actually build the snowman (made of felt) as we sing the song. Little ones love helping to build the snowman too. It’s a great activity for vocabulary building and listening (“Place the buttons on when you hear me sing ‘buttons’!”), and fine motor skill development, just to name a few.

Hope you enjoy our video! 

 

Here are a few instructions, if you’d like to recreate this...

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Vivaldi "Winter" Part 2

Jan 09, 2020
 

Last month we shared a simple “stuffed animal choreography” activity for you and your kiddo to engage with the first movement of Vivaldi’s Winter. Check it out here.

Today we have an alternate activity for the same movement which is just as simple. This involves some type of rhythm instrument.  We might choose rhythm sticks or a drum - feel free to pull out the wooden spoons, or get creative with your own found instruments. The steady beat “shivering” sections are perfect for practicing playing a steady beat. When the violin comes in with the howling wind we simply stop playing, cup a hand over an ear to represent “listening” and resume playing the rhythm instruments when the steady beat comes back. You could also get a little fancier with some wind actions of your own during the “windy” solo violin sections. Your little one may or may not make it through the whole piece, and that is just fine! (Just as a heads up, there is...

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Oh Hannukah and We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Dec 19, 2019
 

I’m sure it doesn’t come as a surprise that I love Christmas music! It’s one of my favorite things about this beautiful, yet often hectic season. I love the traditional carols and even the popular hits (Santa Baby anyone?). It has been such a joy to introduce some holiday favorites to my daughter over the past couple of years. Though we celebrate Christmas in our home, we’ve also enjoyed learning some Hannukah songs.

Today we want to share one Hannukah song and one Christmas song with you and your little one(s). 

“Oh Hannukah” lends itself nicely to some simple choreography. My daughter loves doing this with me while I hold her, but you can also encourage your child to try the movements themselves. We respond to the text and the mood of the song in a pretty straightforward way. “Gather round” invites us to spin, “burning low” takes us low to the ground. Smoother sections invite us to sway, while faster rhythms get us...

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Vivaldi's "Winter" 1st movement

Dec 12, 2019
 

Does it feel like Winter yet where you are? Here in New England, we had our first snowstorm on December 1, so we are in full on Winter mode - complete with endless layers of clothing and endless hours placing said clothing on our children’s bodies! Yay!

 I confess I’m a bit of a grump when it comes to the cold weather - but my perspective has shifted lately as my 3-year-old daughter has been SO excited for snow this year, and the white stuff did not disappoint this week. (Glee! Joy! Rolling in it! Eating it! More glee! More eating!)

 Each movement in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons describes a particular aspect of the season. The imagery is vivid, which is part of what makes this piece so fun to listen to with both kids and adults. The first movement of “Winter” (marked I. Allegro non molto) is meant to depict a shivery, teeth-chattering experience in the bitter cold. In a future post we’ll share more activities to explore this imagery with your...

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Nutcracker Wrap-Up!

Dec 05, 2019

What a great week we’ve had, having fun with music from the Nutcracker. Thanks to everyone who has participated in the Clap for Classics! Nutcracker Challenge! Even if you didn’t follow along, we still want to share our Nutcracker excitement with you, and give you a glimpse into what we’ve been up to.

On Day 1 we marched and galloped along with the March movement. 

Day 2 had us acting out a flower story as we danced to the Waltz of the Flowers. 

Day 3 was a high energy dancing bear Russian Dance activity (Trepak). 

We hope you enjoy your Day 4 “treasure hunt” to the Arabian Dance today, and hold tight for a fun finale activity on Day 5!

We planned the challenge early in the month, so that you’ll have plenty of time to continue repeating and enjoying these activities throughout the holiday season! My 3-year-old daughter has been asking to repeat the “flower dance with the kitty cat” again and again! Which activity did...

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