Instruments for Music Time

I have had a lot of questions recently about the musical resources I use during playgroup, so I thought I would write a post about my absolute favourite website, Optimum Percussion.

Anything in Boomwhacker colours or “Colour Coded”

Boomwhackers are a great resource by themselves! These long plastic tubes are pretty indestructible and to make a sound, you have to hit them on the floor, with each other or onto a hard surface. This makes them perfect for children who are full of energy.

Boomwhackers come in vibrant colours. Optimum stocks other instruments in these colours, making theme “colour coded”. This means children are easily able to associate the sound of a note across various instruments with a specific colour. Check the desk bells and the chime bars that follow the colour pattern. I use all of these on a regular basis.

 

World Instruments

Children should be exposed to instruments from all across the world. Although Optimum Percussion is and Australian Company, they have a wide range of world instruments that are of great quality. My absolute favourite would have to be my Hapi Drum. Although it was expensive to buy, the Hapi drum is every child (and parent’s) favourite instrument. It is tuned to the Pentatonic Scale, which means no matter what you play, it will always sound good. It also helps that it’s beautiful sound reminds you of a day spa! Rain Shakers are another great instrument, especially these ones that can go on your child’s wrists or ankles, and who can forget Castanets?!

 

 

 

The advantages of an in-service music program

When I worked in Early Learning, there was no music program. I worked for three years to build up an incredible Music Education program but unfortunately, the program was not seen as a necessity and was dropped due to budget restrictions. While I can completely understand why this happened, I don’t believe it was in the best interests of the children.

After this occurred I was unemployed for three months, and I took some time to really think about what I wanted to do. I knew I loved music, but I didn’t want to be an external music provider due to how costly these can be to Early Learning Centers. Often, only centers who have large budgets are able to book these programs and I can’t help but feel bad for all the children who miss out.

This is where I discovered my calling. Teaching Early Learning staff how to deliver these high quality programs themselves means that

  • There is consistency on what is taught to the children
  • Staff know the children better than anyone and can really focus the music program on their interests and can cater to the needs of individual children
  • The program is visible to parents in terms of planning, reflections, documentation and feedback
  • Staff can feel empowered and confident when it is Music time instead of taking a step back
  • Musical resources can be accessed during the day for children to explore in their own time
  • Every child has access to Music. When hiring an external program, it is often only 30 mins, one day a week. When staff teach music, every child is able to participate in music, no matter what day they come to care.

My goal is to make music accessible again. Not just for those who have deep pockets