New words to old songs
Take a song or rhyme the children know well and invent new words to suit the purpose and the children’s interests. Use percussion instruments to accompany the new lyrics.
Which instrument? This activity uses two identical sets of instruments. Give the children the opportunity to play one set to introduce the sounds each instrument makes and name them all. Then one child hides behind a screen and chooses one instrument from the identical set to play. The other children have to identify which instrument has been played. Develop the activity by playing a simple rhythm or by adding a song to accompany the instrument (e.g. There is a music man. Clap your hands) while the hidden instrument is played. This time the listening children have to concentrate very carefully, discriminating between their own singing and the instrument being played.
Adjust the volume Two children sit opposite each other with identical instruments. Ask them to copy each other making loud sounds and quiet sounds. It may be necessary to demonstrate with two adults copying each other first. Then try the activity with an adult with one child. Use cards giving picture or symbol cues to represent loud or quiet (e.g. a megaphone, puppet of a lion; a finger on the lips, puppet of a mouse).
‘Grandmother’ has a range of instruments and the children decide what movement goes with which sound (e.g. shakers for running on tip-toe, triangle for fairy steps). First an adult will need to model being Grandmother. Then a child takes the role. Grandmother stands with her back to the others and plays an instrument. The other children move towards Grandmother in the manner of the instrument while it is playing. They stop when it stops. The first person to reach Grandmother takes over that role and the game starts again. Look, listen and note
Look, listen and note how well children:
■ identify and name the instruments being played;
■ listen and respond as the instrument is being played.