It’s Music Week this week at The Children’s House!! We’ve got lots of suggestions for musical instruments you can make at home (we’re all about the recycling!!) & fun music games you can play together. Music can create such big emotions in us, & young children have the best imaginations, so it’s a great activity to listen to different genres & talk about why they are different; what do they like or dislike about each one. Play a mixture of music you like & your child likes – mix up nursery rhymes with rock/ jazz/ pop/ heavy metal/ hip hop – & expose them to all sorts to expand their musical horizons (just make sure the lyrics are appropriate!!)
Listen to some classical pieces – how does it make them feel? Is it happy, scary, sad, exciting? Does it make them want to move? Do they want to move lightly like a ballerina or stomp heavily like an elephant? You could try listening to Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens or Peter & the Wolf by Prokofiev (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfM7Y9Pcdzw) , both of which use instruments to represent different animals & characters, so the children can learn about specific instruments while also hearing a story.
To get the full benefits of music, children need to sing, clap & dance along with the tunes. Singing & moving to music tells the brain to make meaning of it, while interacting using musical instruments will help train your child’s musical ear – so get going on some of our homemade instruments like shakers, which can be made from toilet roll cardboard & filled with anything from pasta to flour to stones, explore what sounds they make & which is louder or softer. (You could use empty plastic ice cream tubs either.) Paper plate tambourines are another fun & easy instrument to make – all you need is paper plates, crayons/paint to decorate with, a handful dried beans/rice/pebbles to fill with, & a stapler to close with! To make a homemade guitar, simply stretch several large elastic bands around a cardboard box with an open top or a tissue box with a hole in the centre. Choose elastic bands that vary in width to ensure that all of your “guitar strings” will produce different tones and sounds when they’re plucked by little fingers.
Look at this Pringles drum, made by duct taping 7 empty Pringles cans together – a lot of Pringles to be gotten through for this, but if you love your children enough you’ll make that sacrifice….For simpler drums, all you need is a saucepan & wooden spoon – & some understanding neighbours!!! Get into the kitchen with jars, pots, pans & spoons & discover the effect that different materials, sizes & shapes have on the sounds you can make!
Check out making music with a glass of water with this amazing version of the Sugar Plum Fairy! See if you can do it home and find out what happens when different amounts of water are used… https://youtu.be/QdoTdG_VNV4
Music helps self esteem, listening skills, stress relief & creativity – celebrate all of these benefits with a dance party!! https://youtu.be/gCzgc_RelBA
Learn about rhythm with a copy cat game, which is also great for improving memory & concentration skills https://youtu.be/58p6QtMYN1M
And for the brave, the bored, & those with older children – challenge yourself to this… https://youtu.be/Y5kYLOb6i5I
The song this week is a classic, with fun actions too – I am the Music Man!
I am the music man. I come from far away and I can play. (What can you play?) I play the piano. Pia pia piano piano piano – Pia pia piano pia piano
I am the music man. I come from far away and I can play. (What can you play?) I play the violin. Vio vio violin violin violin – Vio vio violin vio violin Pia pia piano piano piano – Pia pia piano pia piano
I am the music man. I come from far away and I can play. (What can you play?) I play the saxophone. Saxo saxo saxophone saxophone saxophone Saxo saxo saxophone saxo saxophone Vio vio violin violin violin – Vio vio violin vio violin Pia pia piano piano piano – Pia pia piano pia piano
I am the music man. I come from far away and I can play. (What can you play?) I play the big bass drum. Big bass big bass big bass drum big bass drum big bass drum Big bass big bass big bass drum big bass big bass drum Saxo saxo saxophone saxophone saxophone – Saxo saxo saxophone saxo saxophone Vio vio violin violin violin – Vio vio violin vio violin Pia pia piano piano piano – Pia pia piano pia piano
I am the music man. I come from far away and I can play. (What can you play?) Well, I can play everything and here we go! Hit it! Play that piano. Play that violin. Play that saxophone. Play that big bass drum.