1. Include musical instruments in the play environment where children can have free access to them.
2. Celebrate children’s musical activity. Praise them for their musical efforts, don’t just label it as noise. Write down the words to the songs they make up or record them.
3. Offer opportunities to experience many kinds of music (e.g. encourage families to share music and instruments from their culture).
4. Sing and recite poetry and nursery rhymes often.
5. Sing the same songs frequently so young children can learn them and feel a sense of achievement.
6. Set aside one circle time a week for music and movement.
7. If the children see you singing and enjoying all aspects of music, they too will develop an appreciation for music and movement.
8. Include music and songs during your routines and transitions.
9. Always include a warm up song and a cool down song when planning your music circles.
10. For music and movement circles to be successful, you must be prepared. Plan your circle, your materials, your instruments or any other props. Always have a backup plan in case the children are not responding the way you thought they would.
Here is an example of a Playgroup Circle at Ontario Early Years Centre Ottawa South :
Written by Pina Giovannitti
Resource Consultant, CISS