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Preschool Music Fun with "Robot Dance" and "Music Babies"!

WATCHING LITTLE CHILDREN DO THE "ROBOT DANCE" IS ALMOST AS ADORABLE AS PRACTICING RHYTHMS WITH "MUSIC BABIES"!


 Photos in this post are from the artists at Dollar Photo Club

Keeping a steady beat is always an important part of music education for young children and it does take practice. However, there are so many fun games for practicing this important skill!

This week in our Montessori Preschool music classes, the children enjoyed a steady beat activity from the Bushfire Press, "Music Room" curriculum (my favorite!) Here's that link: http://www.bushfirepress.com

Our activity was based on a "Robot Dance" to music with a pronounced steady beat. Of course, there are lots of popular tunes out there that keep a steady, driving beat and if you introduce the concept of dancing like a robot, then you're guaranteed a fun time! So,if you aren't using the "Music Room" curriculum, you can just put on your favorite dance music instead.



I usually practice my lessons before presenting them to the children, and so I stood in front of a mirror at home and tried my robot dance beforehand. I wanted to make sure that I really did look like a robot dancing!





As with most music and movement activities, it's important that the teacher "model" the components of the activity in a lively and dramatic manner. "Robot dancing" is fairly easy to "get dramatic" with, and once the children saw me...they went to town! 




There were lots of happy faces and lots of very controlled movements...another added benefit of dancing a steady beat in a robot style! Keeping the movement sharp and crisp takes coordination & muscular control on the part of the children. (and me!) And, adding the "drama play" component of moving like robots makes it fun to do and adorable to watch. While we're dancing I sometimes say: "Stea-dy-beat...stea-dy-beat..." to give more juice to the learning adventure!

For us Montessorians, we know that the importance of movement on the child's development was always emphasized by Dr. Montessori. In 1967, she wrote :
"...Mental development must be connected with movement and be dependent on it. It is vital that educational theory and practice should be informed by this idea." 
You can read more about this topic at this link: Montessori Movement Matters Book Intro (one of my favorite books!)


If robots weren't enough of the adorable factor this week, we also had more steady beat experiences with our "Music Babies":





These are little muslin dolls that I introduce to the children as "Music Babies", so that they get the idea that we will be doing musical activities with the dolls. I purchased my "music babies" in lots of twelve from this supplier:

First, I demonstrate how my "music baby" can sit in my lap and I can move it's "hands" to clap. Then, we clap a steady beat, or a fun rhythm like "ti-ti-ta". See more about the "ti-ti-ta" rhythm at this post: 

You can also check out this quirky video I made about rhythm patterns and hear the "ti-ti-ta" fun on this post:

And, if you want to see & hear more of my quirky videos  there is a little collection at my website page: "Stuff for Kids"...just click here:

We  even sang some of our favorite songs with our "music babies" moving to the beat...sometimes making the baby's "hands" clap together, sometimes having the baby "jump", or "walk", and sometimes we even "rocked" the babies to the beat. We took our babies up high like "flying" when we sang the song "Flying Man" from the music curriculum by Tamara O'Brien, called "We're Orff."

You can find this fun song & activities to download as an eBook here: Bushfire Press, Orff Resources

I got the idea for our "music babies" activities from some wonderful youtube videos on Eurythmics (the Dalcroze Method of teaching music). Fritz Anders has some amazing ideas that he has recorded and here's the one about using "music babies"!




Hope you have fun with "robots" and "music babies", and I would love to hear your ideas. Just leave a comment or two at the end of this post!




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2 comments:

  1. Very nice post. Music is equally essential to create the new pathways in making strong connections. This activity can be practiced in preschools and daycare centers.

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    1. I appreciate your lovely comment and I agree wholeheartedly!

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