[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Lisa Sempsey, Kodály Educator
Kids have boundless energy! That statement is no surprise if you’re a parent, caregiver, or teacher to a child. There are times that you may look at the children under your care and think, “they may not need a nap, but I do!” or, “how do they just keep going?” Well, movement: touching, rolling, skipping, jumping, wiggling…it’s just part of how a child explores her world. It’s also how their brain/body develops “must have” connections to grow up in a healthy way. Movement is key! But, traditional sports or dance classes are not the only way to keep children moving. Don’t get me wrong, organized athletics and dance programs have an important impact in the world, but there are also other ways to keep your little ones on the move and having fun![/vc_column_text][blockquote cite=”Ralph Waldo Emerson”]It is a happy talent to know how to play.[/blockquote][vc_column_text]Music and movement have a natural connection. Think about it, when you sing to an infant, you rock them. Squirmy toddler? You’ll probably bounce that little guy on your knee as you recite a traditional rhyme to him. Is your kindergartner having a birthday party? Then, you might organize a round of musical chairs. All of these examples have a music-movement connection. But, they just scratch the surface. There are hundreds of “old” movement games that children still love to play, plus, new ideas on how children can explore movement, and often, music at the same time.
Not sure where to start? There are many websites and online libraries that are treasure troves for kid-friendly and parent/teacher approved, movement rich activities. I used to use them with my own child. (He’s twelve now!) I use them for planning activities at summer camps, and school lessons with many age levels, pre-school through high school. Try out the two online resources below. Take a look. Explore and see how much fun you and your children can have![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Music and Movement Resources
- GoNoodle.com: What a fun website! Sign up for free, create a monster, click on an activity, and let the fun begin. Whether it’s yoga with Maximo, Zumba for Kids, silly movement with Koo Koo Kachoo, or one of the many other choices. Kids are engaged, challenged, and most likely giggling!
- Kodaly.hnu.edu: This is an online library for folk songs, inspired by the Kodaly philosophy of music education. While I have many, MANY song sources for my classroom, this is my go-to resource when I’m in a pinch. Click on “search the collection” to look for song material that meets your needs. Looking for a movement activity? Scroll all the way to the bottom to the “game type” drop-down box. Choose a genre and you’ll get many songs with the game or dance directions written out for you. Some songs even have field recordings that you can listen to.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][blockquote cite=”Zoltán Kodály”]Singing connected with movements and action is a much more ancient, and, at the same time, more complex phenomenon than is a simple song.[/blockquote][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Want even more ideas? Looking to integrate movement into a group setting with children? There are many books with music and movement ideas together. Some of my favorites are:
- “150 American Folk Songs to Sing, Read and Play” by P. Erdei and K. Komlos
- “Sail Away: 155 American Folk Songs to Sing, Read and Play” by E. Locke
- “Let’s Slice the Ice: A Collection of Black Children’s Ring Games and Chants” by E. Fulton and P. Smith
- “The Ella Jenkins Song Book for Children” by E. Jenkins and P. Lipschultz
- “120 Singing Games and Dances for Elementary Schools” by L. Choksy and D. Brummitt
- “Teaching Movement and Dance” by P. Weikart
- “Creative Dance for All Ages” by A. Greene Gilbert
Music and movement are a natural fit at home and in school. Those wiggly kids will sing, play, move, and laugh their way through great games and dances both old and new!
Mrs. Sempsey is an active clinician and workshop presenter in south-central Pennsylvania covering topics including classroom management, choral reading sessions, technology in the music classroom, movement and music curricular connections, Kodaly philosophy, curriculum development, and lesson planning, and Orff-Schulwerk philosophy, curriculum development, and lesson planning.
Mrs. Sempsey has taught kindergarten through sixth grade general music, elementary choruses, as well as elementary and middle school strings in Lower Dauphin and Conestoga Valley School Districts, as well as been the Artistic Director and Prelude Choir Director for the Children’s Choir of Lancaster from 2005-2012. Currently, Mrs. Sempsey teaches kindergarten through sixth grade general music, choruses, and Orff & Drum Ensembles in Columbia Borough School District. She is also the K-12 Art & Music Curriculum Coordinator.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]