Monday, June 8, 2015

Kindergarten Music Warm-up Activities

Teaching a kindergarten class music should be an enjoyable and active experience for the children. Before getting into the serious music exercises, it is advisable to warm up the kids to prepare them for music activities. Spend five to 10 minutes on warm-ups to ensure that the children are primed and ready to begin singing, playing and experimenting with music.

Rhythm


Begin each music class with rhythm clapping exercises. Clap a rhythm for the class and then have the children repeat the rhythm. Make the rhythms short enough for the children to remember. Start with one full measure of rhythms that last for four beats. Use only quarter notes and half notes at first. You may begin with two quarters followed by a half, one half followed by two quarters or a quarter note followed by a half note and quarter note. If the students get all of those rhythms down, add in eighth notes until you have used up your allotted time.

Singing


Start the class with a breathing exercise. Have all of the children stand up and take in a breath for four counts. Then, ask them to breathe out for six counts. This will help warm up the vocal chords. Next, sing a simple song with the class. "Mary Had a Little Lamb" is a good song to sing that most children already know. When they have finished warming up with the breathing exercise and the song, have them sing an exercise that includes clapping. For instance, "Bingo" is a good song that uses clapping and singing.

Movement


Movement and music should be combined to keep children active. A good warm-up that also teaches children about the beat in music is to play or sing a song and march around the room. "Big Bad Wolf" is a song that you can teach the beat with. Begin singing with the class and ask the children to march in place. Say "left" when the left foot should strike and "right" when the right foot should strike the floor. Once they get the beat down, have them march around the room in time.

Pitch Recognition


Kindergartners should begin to learn pitch recognition at an early age. Play or sing a high pitch with an instrument or your voice. Ask the students to determine if the note sounds high or low. Then ask the kids to identify the difference between two pitches. Start with the pitches spaced far apart, and gradually bring them closer together. Some students have trouble with recognizing the relative highness or lowness of pitch. This exercise will help teach kids about pitch and warm up the ears for other activities.