This semester my preschool music class is having a blast using Eric Carle books as the theme for all of our activities. We just finished up a month of activities based on his book, The Very Busy Spider. My students loved the theme and activities associated with the book. Our recent classes have gone over so well that I wanted to share my lesson activities with other teachers. You can get a lesson guide below that features all of the activities and songs we did below.
This lesson guide is a 5-page document that features music, activities and instructions for a movement-based preschool music classe for ages 0-5. If you’re familiar with my lesson plan formula from my Teach Preschool Music course, you’d just need to choose how to plug these activities into the formula. However, any teacher can use the ideas and activities from this lesson guide as a springboard for their own lesson planning.
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Previously, all of my preschool music class lesson plans have been based on topical themes such as animals, transportation or around the world. I’ve always enjoyed planning classes around that framework, but using a book as the theme of our class has opened up the possibility to feature a huge variety of activities and songs.
A couple of highlights from this lesson guide:
My students absolutely loved making spiderwebs on paper plates. It’s a soothing activity to work on with quiet music playing and a wonderful way for students to practice coordination and fine motor skills. Several students reported that they repeated this activity at home.
I also take any chance I can get to use one of our favorite songs, Bunny Hop by The Hollow Trees. The kids just love jumping and almost all of the animals featured in The Very Busy Spider story are named in the song.
If you aren’t teaching preschool music classes yet, I highly recommend it! There are so many rewards to teaching young children. They are fun, energetic and intuitive learners.
I’ve really noticed recently that teaching preschool music has strengthened me as a piano teacher. When you teach young children, you have to break every concept and skill down into tiny manageable tasks for your students. As you continue to build on these small tasks over time, you’ll find that your students can naturally accomplish musical skills without even really noticing it. They feel successful and at ease with music.
This works similarly with beginning piano students. My experience working with preschool students has transferred really well to the early piano lessons because I am more in tune with how to make music approachable to my young and even not-so-young piano students. (I’ve been exploring some of these ideas lately in my posts on conceptual teaching. You can find the intro here and a post on teaching notation here.)
For teachers who would like to learn more about teaching preschoolers, you may be interested in the courses available at Pianissimo Courses. I created them for piano teachers who need more resources for planning preschool music class.
Teach Preschool Music teaches you everything you need to know to start your own preschool music class. You’ll learn about
- Child development topics
- Important milestones you can help your students reach
- How to teach preschoolers musical skills and concepts
- A simple approach to lesson planning
- What materials you need to get started (and what you don’t need)
- How to educate parents alongside your preschool students
- The logistics of running a class and how to troubleshoot problems
- The business side of running a class
- How to market and sell your class
- Much more
The course also includes lesson plans for a full year of preschool music classes. And, after a year, you’ll have all of the tools and experience you need to easily create your own lesson plans. If you don’t have much experience with the preschool age group, this course is for you!
If you already teach preschool music classes, don’t worry, I’ve got something for you too! Preschool Music Lesson Plan Crash Course is a pared down version of Teach Preschool Music. I know that teachers are busy and often stretched thin. It can be difficult to come up with interesting and engaging material week after week. This course gives you the full year of lesson plans, plus it teaches you how to use my simple formula to help you streamline your lesson planning process. It has tons of resources on where to find music, themes, activities and ideas for your classes.
Please be in touch if you have any questions about either of these courses! I’d love to chat with you about your goals with preschool music and if these resources are right for you.
P.S. Did you notice the beautiful photos in this post? They we’re taken by my dear friend Kassie of KP Visualize. I just love how she captured my sweet preschool friends!