If you're looking for a surefire way to get some great language out of even the most difficult kiddos, take my advice on this one: give them a microphone. This is Preschool Idol.
We're studying Fine Arts and taking the Idol stage to showcase all sorts of music and performing skills. I've heard some unique, confident, and fabulous renditions of the ABCs, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." I'm also targeting voice projection, social skills such as listening and turn-taking and giving compliments, and, for some of my little friends, just general TALKING.
We start by planning out our costumes (sequencing and describing), primping and dressing (motor and self-help skills), and choosing a talent. I created a little back-stage dressing station that includes a full-length mirror and costumes including mini sport coats and ties, tutus, masks, feather boas, and funny glasses. The action that takes place around the mirror alone is priceless.
Preschoolers explore various instruments (our repertoire includes jingle sticks, tambourines, a keyboard-turned-grand-piano, triangles, and castanets), and vocabulary practice includes labeling both the instruments and their associated actions; How does a tambourine make noise? What do you use to play a triangle?
We created our stage using large, wooden hallow blocks and I manipulated some red bulletin board paper into curtains, tied back with yellow ribbon. The "piano" is an electric keyboard (with the volume button taped into a set position) placed on top of some play kitchen furniture, turned on its side to make a bench, and covered in black paper. My coworker added a music stand and students choose their song inspiration from a basket of visuals representing familiar tunes. Post-performance includes applause and a shower of roses. And paparazzi. I just can't stop taking pictures of these little superstars.
How are you using music to inspire communication?