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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Musical Sandwich

I am a total music buff and love to listen to music when I'm driving, cleaning, and working on my TPT products. I will admit that I listen to the oldies  (which these days are probably the "The Seventies") on my XM radio on my way to work.  A little Earth, Wind, and Fire can cure any bad mood in my opinion!  I am a big one on associating songs with my various friends and they take me right back to that time.  For example, "Sweet Home Alabama" is my "Katie song".  "Wild, Wild West" is my "Barb song". "December '63" is my "Aaron song".  "Come Fly with Me" belongs to the Hubs!  (That's a long story for another time!)  You get the idea.

As a kid, my elementary music teacher was Mrs. Tillery and I can tell you we played "Greensleeves" in the recorder choir and we sang "Senor Don Gato" in music class and I can still sing it to this day!    My mom always liked to sing in the car and my dad was a big whistler so perhaps I come by it rightfully.  I have discovered over the years the natural link between reading and music so as an early childhood educator, it has always been really important to use music as a means to develop rhythm, rhyme, memory, and reading skills.

So this got me thinking last week. My school pipes music into the building daily when students are arriving in the morning and right before bus calls while students are leaving for the day.  We used to have a structured repertoire of music that was scheduled by a previous music teacher in our building to last thoughout the year. They were taped one after another on cassette for the whole school year, focusing on various holidays as they came up and different events that were going on in the building.  When I arrived, I thought it was so sweet that James Taylor was singing "Getting to Know You" but by year ten in my building, I have to admit, while I love me a little JT, I was over hearing that every first week of school, as were many of my other colleagues. However the music was definitely "kid appropriate".

Currently, the music is sometimes kid appropriate however, often times "pop music" such as Katie Perry is being played.  And while the general theme may be a good theme, the music is not really kid proof in my opinion, and some of the singers are not really good role models for the students.  So I decided to email my principal and discuss just this topic and she was rather receptive to my concerns. I think this is a topic to be further discussed by our leadership team and I even volunteered to help the music teacher come up with a new selection of music.  There is so much time for our kids to be exposed to the media that it would be nice in my opinion to keep them "young" while they are at school. (I'm in a PK-4 building.)  Not to mention, it would be nice to teach them something while they are walking down the hall or hear a story put to music on their way out at the end of the day.

Probably close to 18 years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Rick Charette, a children's singer/songwriter at an SDE conference.  Ever since that time, his music has been a part of my teaching, no matter what capacity in which I've taught.  If you don't know him and you teach young children, you should definitely take a minute to check him out!  He ties writing stories and music together so well and students just love his music and so do I!  

What do you think of this dilemma?  What type of music do you hear in your building or play in your classroom?  How do you incorporate music into your reading program?  As always, I would love to hear your opinion!

Until Next Time,