Music in School and After School Programs

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MARCH IS ‘MUSIC IN OUR SCHOOL’ MONTH…however, most of these ideas are fun any time of the year…The 2011 MIOSM Theme is ‘Music Lasts a Lifetime’…

MUSIC THEME IDEAS!

1. Make a “Music Month” calendar, and suggest that students dress for different musical eras. Play appropriate music as students arrive in the morning, lunchtime, or to the after school program.

2. Add a musical touch to the morning announcements. Try having a “mystery tune” each day, or a music trivia question.

3.  Ask the lunchroom to rename items using musical themes such as Polka Potatoes, Harmonic Ham Sandwiches, etc. Have students suggest these fun names. If this is for an after school program–add a ‘musical’ twist to snack and cooking project names!

4.  Sponsor a poster or poetry contest. Posters and poems should support “Music In Our Schools” and revolve around the current year’s theme. Have individuals from outside the school judge the entries.

5.  Plan an all-school (or all program) sing.

6.  Have a talent show emphasizing music. Tell a story, a joke, or read poetry about music, and be sure to include traditional acts of singing, playing instruments, etc. Invite the parents, and choose a winning act from each class/group to perform in a winners’ assembly.

7. Collaborate with the art teacher and have students design posters, banners, and buttons featuring  a music ( or the MIOSM) theme.

8. Ask students to draw their favorite musical instrument, have them design an instrument of the future, or make homemade instruments.

9. Collaborate with your school’s history or social studies departments to create cross-curricular activities based on the theme of the concert or the pieces being performed.

10. Ask students to cut pictures of music and musicians out of magazines and create a musical wall collage for your program or classroom(s).

11. Have students list ways in which music is a part of their everyday lives. Have them compare lists with friends and family members.

12. Invite teachers in your school to sing along with your students at a concert. Better yet, create a teacher chorus or instrumental ensemble to perform at a MIOSM concert.

13. Take a field trip during Music Month to hear a local college group, community chorus or orchestra…or… invite a group to perform at your school or for your program.

14. Invite local Collegiate members to participate through performing, teaching, games, and discussions.

15. Take students to a local senior center or hospital and invite everyone to participate in the sing-along.


These ideas have been adapted to after-school programs from the Music in our School Month Website. Please visit it to participate in the yearly event!

Different forms of music have been found to be effective in increasing the ability to focus, concentrate, calm, soothe, and relax; it can enhance learning, creativity, and critical-thinking skills.

Use Music for setting the stage and mood; it can serve a variety of functions in your classroom or program

1. Play music to manage the energy level of the program. You never know the energy level the kids will have when they arrive. One day, you have a room full of kids bouncing off the walls (often on cold or rainy days when they can’t go outside to play). The next day the same children seem like they are moving in slow motion.


2. Play music to signal transitions to the children.
There are tunes galore for younger kids; however when working with school-age, look for music that will be more age-appropriate. An example may be Yakity-Yak, Don’t Talk Back when it’s time to clean-up the play areas—or—Who Let the Dogs Out as a signal for outside line up. If using music for transitions, get the SAC kids input into what they’d like to use.

  • For either age group–always give a 10 and then 5 minute warning that the activity will end.
  • At the given time–play the music that is used consistently— and the kids will know what to do!

3. Music can also be a bonding experience.
Play music as background right from the beginning of the day. Just as you take care to make your environment visually appealing and stimulating, you should also note the effect that music has on the atmosphere in the program and classroom.

NOTE:
Entering a room can be intimidating for people of any age.

  • Music can help to make your program space warm and inviting.
  • Arrival time should be soothing; use music to set a tone right from the start.
  • To liven things up-be sure to play music to go with your themes.
    • Having a beach party? Play Beach Boys and Caribbean music. Having a Luau—play Hawaiian music, etc,

Tip: Loosely plan music to accompany the several transitions you have. Instead of using several CD’s… burn a CD of the songs you use or use an iPod so you don’t need to change CDs during the program. Make a playlist of about 70 minutes worth of music (50 minutes worth of group-time music plus 4-5 songs to use as back-ups if you need to change the pace).

Other Music on KidActivities: Homemade Musical Instruments and Using Them ; Christmas Song Lyrics; Most ‘Themes and Holiday Categories’ have song/music movement activities included in them…

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