Many parents wonder what happens in an early childhood music class. Joyful Melodies offers a variety of music classes, many of which are designed for families with young children. The Mommy & Me classes are specifically for families and their young children, and the Intergenerational Music Classes take place in senior living communities. The structure of the Intergenerational Music Classes is similar to the Mommy & Me classes, with just a few modifications designed to encourage the little ones and “grandfriends” to interact with one another.
All Joyful Melodies music classes for children 5 years and under are uniquely designed, but most include the following:
Joyful Melodies Hello Song
We always acknowledge every child in our special hello song. We wave to every participant as their name is sung. We also play small percussion instruments together and, if it’s an Intergenerational Music Class, the children help pass instruments to our grandfriends.
Instrument Playing Song
We usually move on to an instrument playing song, where we practice our listening skills and experiment playing in different ways. Kids find it hilarious when we suddenly say, “Stop!” We often incorporate musical concepts such as fast, slow, loud, and soft, and work on active listening and following directions.
Kids and grandfriends alike love singing familiar songs with motions! We include action songs like “Wheels on the Bus” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” in each class. Because most families and older adults are familiar with these songs already, many feel comfortable singing along and making the motions. This creates a shared experience for the kids, parents, and grandfriends.
Kids love to play with colorful scarves! We all know it’s hard for little ones to sit still for too long, so Joyful Melodies classes include a lot of structured and free movement activities. Kids waves the scarves as they dance, hide under them for peek-a-boo games, and practice following directions when the group leader instructs everybody to move the scarves in specific ways.
Early literacy skills are supported during story time! The kids often bring in their own books to share with their friends.
The parachute activities are always a winner! Kids love getting those last wiggles out by dancing underneath the colorful parachute or helping hold the edges and wave it up and down.
After the parachute, it’s time to calm down! We usually sing, “You Are My Sunshine,” because most adults already know it and are likely to sing along, and singing the same song to calm down gives the parents a tool to then use at home. Some kids choose not to snuggle up with a loved one during this time, and wiggle and dance to get that last bit of energy out. Either way is fine!
We close each class with a goodbye song, waving goodbye to each child as his or her name is sung.