Parent Newsletter – Year 1 – Musical Instruments

Musical Instruments - Year 1 (March 2013)

Tessa's Notes

Dear Families, Welcome to our Musical Instruments Unit Newsletter. Here's a chance to find out more about:
  • what your child is learning in class
  • questions to ask them so they can show you
  • some fun activities for you and your family at home
This is the first unit in our Spotlight On Imagination quarter. This month, we're using simple or home-made musical instruments to accompany the songs, and focus on rhythm. Kids often have an intuitive sense of rhythm and we draw that out in these songs by giving them particular aspects of the songs with which to use their instruments. happy child jumping Our songs are all themed around tying aspects of the music to patterns, colors and sounds, to reinforce the syncopation between movement and music which helps with memory - as with any multi-sensory experience. This month we're continuing our practice of providing you with playable music that you can play from home. These songs will play on an iPad or iPhone, so if you are lucky enough to have one of those devices in your living room, you might find it more convenient than going to your computer. If you like these songs enough to buy them, keep an eye on our newsletters, because we'll be releasing some more of our CDs later this year! On behalf of everyone here at Dancercise Kids, we appreciate your business, and thank you for being part of our ever-expanding global family! Heart & Star Tessalogo

Dance Detail

Musical Instruments is the theme of this month's curriculum, so using our instruments to highlight parts of the music and rhythm, and focusing on our muscle of the month, our Triceps.

Muscle of the Month: Triceps

Activity Song Name Music
Steps Sign Language Lesson
Fitness "Scarecrow Stretch"
Windshield Wipers, Scarecrow, Backward Push-ups Triceps At Farmer Joe's barn dance, they have fun dancing and doing the Scarecrow Stretch.
Jazz "Ocean Music"
Walk Front and Back, 3 Step Turn, Pivot Turn, Shimmy Music We can make almost anything into a musical instrument to tap along with the song.
Ballet "Music Rainbow"
2nd and 1st Position, Chaines Turn Rainbow We pretend each of the colors of the rainbow makes a different sound.
Tap "Copy Cat"
Shuffle Step Clap Clap, Swing Toe, Jump Jump, Buffalo Cat We are working on rhythm - the kids listen to a rhythmic pattern and echo it back.
Creative Movements "Parade Of Music"
Working together as a team we make a great marching band. We demonstrate how each of the instruments makes up the band, and how all of us have an important part to play. We also learn that our voices are an instrument too!
Tumbling Backward Roll  

Parent Questions

Ask your child these questions and let them show you what they've been learning!
  • Can you show me Windshield Wipers?
  • Can you sign Cat?
  • Can you show me 1st Position?
  • What colors are in the rainbow (Let them be creative with this one - we've heard them all!)
They might not remember everything but watch their imaginations go to town!

Family Fun

Make some musical instruments together. These can be really simple - shakers and drums.
  1. Find an aluminum or plastic container - baby formula cans or large containers from vitamin powder work great. It must have a replaceable lid.
  2. Wash it out carefully, and (really important) dry it out thoroughly.
  3. Put in the can an amount of unpopped popcorn kernels or uncooked rice. The amount you put in will affect the sound - usually 1/4 to 1/2 full works best.
  4. Replace the lid, then tape up the entire container with electrical tape or something similar. You can buy colored electrical tape at most big box retail stores like Target or Wal-Mart, so you can make it as fancy as you want. It's REALLY important to tape the lid on really well, and we usually recommend covering the entire can with tape. What we do often is start with black tape all over because that's the cheapest tape usually, then use various colors as "highlights" - and the kids will usually have something to say about that!
You can leave the can empty and it will just be a drum that they can tap on with their fingers, but most kids like the shaking effect.