Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Could you use a song that encourages recognition of the directional concepts right and left? Well - today you can download the song Funky Monkey Swing from my album Tunes for Moving FREE!
Just click on this link and look for song #4: Funky Monkey Swing.
When teaching this song to kiddos that are just learning right and left, I usually speak the refrain and demonstrate the movements. For those that still have difficulty identifying the direction to move, I will have them pick a sticker and put it on their right hand. I can then give a verbal cue to help them identify the direction.
So - swing on over and download your free copy today!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
For a limited time, Songs for Teaching is offering a free download of Maryann Harman's "Multiply and March By Two" song as well as the results of a trial combining multiplication drills with music and movement. It's a very catchy song - I may need to buy the rest of the CD! Be sure to follow the downloading instructions at the bottom of the page.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Whenever I work with children, whether in home or in my office, I bring along my "rhythm" bag. This is actually my "rhythm instrument" bag, but over the years it's been shortened to "rhythm bag". Apparently it's just a little easier for my clients (and me!) to say. Plus - the name fits! As I walk down the hall holding my "rhythm bag" it jingles and jangles, dings and tweets from such a combobulation of instruments knocking up against each other. The zipper doesn't work anymore and the bag hangs open when I set it on the floor, revealing some very used and loved instruments and enticing my little ones to work hard so they can pick something to play out of Ms. Pamela's "rhythm bag".
I've been asked by parents, teachers and therapists what instruments they should get to put together their own "rhythm bag". I thought it would be fun to add a new instrument recommendation for your bag with the next few posts.
The first instrument in my bag is a set of 4 colorful EGG SHAKERS.
Egg Shakers can be constructed of wood or plastic. I selected the Basic Beat Egg Shakers because I loved the colors, they are easy and comfortable to hold and they sound really nice! The sound is easily tolerated by most of my children with sound sensitivities and they provide a nice tactile sensation, yet are light and easy to hold. Egg Shakers can be held in the palm of your hand or between fingertips and thumbs.
I have 4 in my rhythm bag so I can give the child I am working with 2 of them and I can play two. Egg Shakers are relatively inexpensive and small. They work well in group activities, so if you work with a group you could easily keep 8 or more in your bag!
**As with anything that can be put in a child's mouth, monitor children carefully around Egg Shakers and other instruments.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Paddle drums come in a variety of sizes. The larger the head, the deeper the sound (and the heavier the instrument). I love the deep sound of the 14" drum, but find it can sometimes be too heavy for my children to hold for very long, so I usually use my 2 - 8" drums and 2 - 10" drums. The best thing about paddle drums is that they have a handle and can be used in ways that standard drums cannot.
One of the activities I like to do to stimulate coordination and motor skills is to march while playing the paddle drum. I encourage the child I am working with to hold the paddle drum with their non-dominant hand and the mallet with their dominant hand. Then, as I play a good recorded marching song (Yankee Doodle on my keyboard works quite well - good tempo and it's a familiar tune) and encourage the child the hit the drum with the mallet while marching in a circle around the room. If the child can accomplish this task on his own, I will play my own paddle drum and march along. Otherwise I will hold the drum while the child plays, or stand behind the child holding the drum and holding their wrist while assisting in playing the drum and moving along.
The music assists in the motor planning of marching and playing the drum.
The Remo paddle drums come in a variety of packages, include mallets and even include a ball that can be bounced on the head of the drum! Another favorite of my clients has been the Lollipop Paddle Drum. I use the Lollipop as a reward for participation in other activities as it can be visually distracting to some kiddos - as you can probably see!