Most of the time, teachers of other subjects might approach the music & drama teacher in a surprise and left them defensive.
Other subject teachers will want the music and drama teacher to teach certain topic to the students. However, the music & drama teacher doesn’t have any plan for those instead she already got her own lesson plans. It is not easy for her to come out with something immediately. There is no way to interrupt the planned activities of the music & drama teacher if there is no prior planning or arrangement.
To solve this problem, early planning in the school year with both teachers will solve this problem.
For example, the science teacher wants to teach the children about body parts, then the music & drama teacher found out that there’s body parts song that can be taught. At the same time, this song allow the children to do actions along with it. With early planning like this, it will ensure that children will get the best from both world.
There is also problem of getting suitable material to teach. In case there is no early planning and the other subject teachers need help from the music & drama teacher, the music & drama teacher can provide materials needed to the other subject teachers and they can use the material anyway they like to teach.
Early planning and communication is important for successful integration of drama & music across curriculum.
Children with learning difficulty have normal intelligence but hav significant difficulties in the acquisition nd use of language, listening, peaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical ailities.
How to teach them drama and music? Just some examples:
- Set up pretend environment
- Give “uncluttered” directions
- Repeat the activities
- Provide supportive and accepting environment
- Encourage and praise over and over again
- Practice instrument parts kinesthetically away from the instrument first
- Highlight visual using large print, color, frame and isolate pattern on overheads o in their books
- Slow down verbal input or recording
Guidelines for music and movement activities in pre-school
- Be knowledgeable with contents and teaching techniques
- Pay attention to festivals and annual fests that related closely to your community
- Choose topic and try to link it with other activities that are being carried out
- Prepare materials before teaching
- Understand the abilities and needs of the children. Do not compare the abilities of one child to another
- Each child are individual with different abilities and needs
- Get information of the experience of the child so that he/she can develop further
- Plan lessons based on child’s experience and expanding it from thereon
- Use simple to understand language
- Plan many types of activities so that they can learn in many ways
- Understand the child fully by observing and analysing the behaviou and performance of the child
- Plan activities which needs the use of different senses such as smell, taste, sight, hearing, and touch
- Have positive attitude towards music and be interested and willing to learn and improve oneself
Principals of teaching singing in pre-school:
- Conduct singing activities informally so that it’s enjoyable and effective
- Plan activities which include movements, imaginations and creativities as children are naturaly very active
- Teacher should adapt to the language development level of the children so that they can understand
- Pre-schoolers’ attetion span is very short. They are unable to focus more than 10 to 15 minutes
- Give attention to quiet and shy children and don’t force them do the activities
- Should encourage the children to sing solo or in groups and appreciate their performance
- Group children according to gender will create opportunity to talk about boys and girls and their roles in community
- Feeling of harmony must be developed
- Teacher must assist in developing self-confidence
- Provide opportunities for children to choose songs, rhythm and musical instruments
- Start with simple songs then progress to difficult songs
- Provide oppotunities to explore fantasy world through singing, drama, pantomime, movement and so on
- Help children improve their voices by guiding them to sing according to appropriate tune, rhythm and pitch
How to choose songs?
- Short and simple repeated lyrics
- Words and sentence structure are simple and relevant to their age level and understanding
- Should reflect their world, experience, feelings and interest
- Choose songs that give training in good health practices and cleanliness, socialisation, manners and develop postitive attitude towards their own self and others
- Song should be a joy to sing and help in language development
- Theme song should be attractive and increase their knowledge
- Rhythm should be simple with clear beats and encourage children too move or do actions spontaneously
Pre-school percussion band helps children express their spiritual and physical feelings towards music. Through various music activities, they can gain knowledge, skills, and experience which continue to develop throughout the years. The fact that children feel happy when beating a musical instrument or anything around them make it even more important to have a percussion band in pre-school.
The 3 things to remember when organising a percussion band:
- The children must learn to start playing together
- The children must learn to stop playing together
- The children play musical instruments according to the tune, learn to recognise a loud, a soft or a medium sound.
When planning an activity, you must consider the children’s physical development, their age level, and their maturity. Movements, imaginations and creativities should be included.
The objective of having a percussion band in pre-school:
- Cultivate an interest in rhythm and be able to follow the rhythm
- Develop a co-ordination of harmonious and gentle movement
- Cultivate power of concentration and careful attention
- Produce creative ideas in various moods
- Experience the joy of responding in a group to musical stimulus
- Develop social relationships necessary for group appreciation of music.
- Listen and appreciate music
- Develop a good memory for various sounds and rhythms
Suitable percussion instruments for children:
Tambourine, triangle, clapper/castanet, ritomica, woodblock, sleigh bell, rhythm stick, maracas, drum
How to conduct percussion band activities:
- Play in a bright and lively tune
- Demonstrate body movements according to music
- Let children imitate, all movement must be according to music
- Use improvised instruments before giving them the real percussion instruments
- Introduce percussion instruments and demonstrate how to play them
- Take turns to play and do a number of rhythm training
- All children play a new ryhthm together, then divide into groups
- Rhythm should be simple and suitable
- Musical accompaniment for the percussion instruments can be recorded or sung or played on a pianica, recorder and so on
Teachers need theory to teach music and drama to children because:
- Can describe factors related to the teacher, the children, the family, social, and cultural influences, and class room environment
- 3 components: instructions, learning processes, learning outcomes
- Directs teacher in providing sequential experiences for understanding a rhytmic pattern or gain techniques
- Describe child’s need
- Demonstrate learning outcome
- Thoughtful guide to what they do
- Lead children to their maximal musical development
Facets of a child-centred curriculum in music
- Knowing the children’s knowledge level, skills, interests, learning styles, developmental stage, culture and family background. There should not be generalization.
- Beginning where the children are by providing lessons that kead children from familiar to the unfamiliar, let children participate actively, offer variety of lesons.
- Allow time for musical play and exploration such as discover musical sound, play instruments, experimentation, and personal expression through music.
- Integrate music into other parts of a child’s life such as stories, movements, language arts, maths, science etc.
Elements and concepts in music and drama in a preschool curriculum program:
- Expressive use of body and voice
- Movement is important to free the child’s energy and emotions and aware of the workings of the body and to control them.
- Increase ability to communicate
- Enhance child’s imagination
- Sensory awareness activities to sharpen perception and appreciation of how sense help us enjoy and know the world
- Sensory recall activities to remember feel, look, sound, smell and taste that enable to recreate the sensations even it’s just in their imagination
- Collaborative improvisation
- Playmaking, chidlren will will decided on who the character and what the character will be doing, there is no need to write down.
- Playwriting, a formalized script is prepare and it’s it’s already pre-planned on who do what.
Responding & Constructing Meaning:
- Development of aesthetic sensibility
- They must know the theater convention such as curtain up, curtain down, curtain call etc.
- They should also know the audience etiquette where they should keep quite when the play is going on, laugh at appropriate time, clap at appropriate time and so on
- Envisioning and arranging the environment
- Arrange furniture to suggest a a particular setting or use fabric or accessories for costumes
- Planning classroom improvisation
- Develop social, group, and concensus skills as they plan and rehearse to improvised on the scripted scenes to be presented to the audience
- Finding information to support classroom dramatizations
- Use books, posters or any visual material
How theatre arts work in the classroom?
Give idea, story or poem to engage attention by related them to their own experiences or ask them questions.
2. Present poem or story
Tell the children the story and have them relate it to their personal experiences
Teacher will plan for the play by being a sidecoach(give suggestions to the chidlren, let the children pantomime) or play a role(teacher act it out) or appreciative audience(just sit/stand and watch).
Start acting and chidlren should keep stay in their intended place and quiet and wait for “curtain” signal.
Make connection between the play and real life with the children and help them recognize, appreciate the aesthetics of the play. This will let the teacher know how well the children understand the art form.
6. Plan & Replay
Repeat the 5 steps above either replay the same character or scene or move on to a new scene.
Music and drama help children develop an awareness of of themselves as:
Physical beings: Body and voice as an instrument to create and communicate
Creative beings: Enhance creativity
Organizers of experience: Learn to solve problems, shape and control what is happening by using their minds and bodies to give form to the art
Reflective beings: Responding thoughtfully to their surroundings
Social beings: Enhance and cultivate moral values among their peers and their surroundings
Key issues in selecting materials for music and drama lessons:
1. Must be safe and sturdy.
2. Must be suitable for their age.
3. Can be used as teaching materials for other lessons as well.
Music is everywhere. It’s important for children to expose themselves to music as early as possible because music is one life’s essential ingredients as it’s a way they explore and experiment the world. It is the core of their socialization and expressive communication with one another and the refuge where they find peace, joy, and fulfillment away fom the worries of their young lives. It will also provide holistic development such as intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual selves.
Simple breakdown of functions of music to young children:
- Emotional expression whereby the children might dance when they are happy.
- Aesthetics enjoyment which it is use for deep emotional and intellectual enjoyment.
- Entertainment for the children.
- Communication between their family, community, and societal cultures.
- Symbolic representation which they will be able to relate certain music with certain scenario for example Chirstmas song is related to Christmas.
- Physical response to the music is able to enhance children motor skill and soothing music can improve their quality of sleep.
- Enforcement of conformity to social norm which children can learn about manners or warnings or instructions from songs.
- Validation of social institutions and religious rituals.
- Contribution to the continuity and stability of culture.
- Contribution to the integration of society as music is known as bringing people together no matter who they are.
- Improve academic understanding where music can be used to learn about numbers or alphabets.
Children may begin with musical toys in their earliest years, progress to nonpitched precussion instruments, and then to xylophones, recorders, and keyboards. Strings, wind and brass instruments of the orchestral and band variety are likely to be introduced to children in the intermediate grades.
Ways children demonstrates their musical capacities:
- Sing their own tune
- Change the song lyrics
- Play musical instruments
- Make various sounds from things around them
- Mimic sounds or songs they hear